3 US Soldiers among 23 Killed in Iraq

Bombings killed 23 persons in Iraq on Thursday, including, Iraqi officials maintain, 3 US soldiers. The attacks followed on a major bombing Wednesday that left 40 dead and 73 wounded in the largely Shiite, northern Shula district.

In Baghdad, guerrillas carried out two significant bombings. One hit a market in Dora district, killing 9 Iraqis and 3 US personnel. Dora, a largely Sunni neighborhood in the southwest of the capital, had been a stronghold of the Sunni Arab guerrillas, and had witnessed large-scale ethnic cleansing of Christians and Shiites. Its security situation had improved markedly in the past year, but now the violence is returning.

Also in West Baghdad (the part of the city where Sunni Arabs at least used to predominate), guerrillas hit the al-Mamoun police station with a bomb in a garbage can, killing 3 policemen and wounding 18 others, including recruits and civilians.

In Kirkuk, a man in a suicide bomb vest attacked members of a Sunni Arab Awakening Councils waiting to receive their pay from the Iraqi government for having turned on the resistance to the new government and the US. An assassination attempt was also made on the police chief of Kirkuk, which left a security man in his entourage dead. The northern oil city of Kirkuk is an object of contention among Kurds, Arabs and Turkmen.

Because the Baghdad explosions were not suicide bombings, local Shiites told McClatchy that they suspected cells of the deposed Baath Party of being behind the new wave of violence.

Although the US military maintained that the bombings were random events, many Iraqis are worried that they are instead signs of a renewed and determined insurgency.

McClatchy reports that Sunni Arab leaders of the Awakening Councils are frustrated that jobs for their men, promised by the Iraqi government, have often not materialized. The councils had turned on the Sunni radicals and fought them, taking a salary from the US and now the Iraqi government. The leader of the council in Dora, hit by the bomb on Thursday, complains that only a handful of his men has received employment. The problem with giving the council members desk jobs, as the Iraqi government proposes for most of them, is that while armed they made deadly enemies in their own neighborhoods, and if they are demobilized they become open to being assassinated.

McClatchy reports political violence on Thursday in Iraq:

‘ Baghdad

A suicide bomber wearing an explosive vest detonated in the midst of a U.S. foot patrol in al Athuriyeen marketplace in Doura neighbourhood, southern Baghdad at 11 a.m. Thursday killing fifteen people including three U.S. soldiers and injuring 30 people including five U.S. soldiers said Iraqi Police. The U.S. military confirmed that three Coalition soldiers were killed and is withholding their names pending notification of their families.

An IED hidden in a plastic bag and planted in a waste paper basket in Mamoun Police Station, western Baghdad detonated Thursday morning killing two policemen and injuring 20 people including eight civilians who were at the police station to issue documents.

A roadside bomb targeted a police patrol in Zafaraniyah neighbourhood in southeast Baghdad injuring three policemen and two civilians.

Kirkuk

A suicide bomber wearing a suicide vest and dressed in Sahwa uniform detonated amidst a gathering of Sahwa members waiting to be paid at one of the military centres in Kirkuk City at 7 a.m. Thursday. The explosion killed eight Sahwa members and injured seven others.

A roadside bomb targeted the motorcade of Kirkuk Chief of Police, Brigadier Burhan Tayib in Korneesh Street, central Kirkuk injuring one of the security personnel and dcausing damages to one of the cars.

Diyala

An IED exploded while it was being defused by a bomb squad in al Aswad area, 4 km to the north of Baquba. The explosion injured two members of the squad.

Nineveh

– Insurgents threw a grenade at an Iraqi army patrol in Mosul on Thursday. Three people were wounded including two soldiers.

– Around noon two gunmen opened fire on two brothers in Bab Al-Toub in downtown Mosul on Thursday. The two brothers were wounded and were taken to the hospital for treatment.

– In the afternoon gunmen killed a mother and her daughter in their house in the Al-Quds neighborhood in eastern Mosul. The two women were seamstresses in the neighborhood and they were poor.

– Police found a dead body for a 25 year-old woman in Rahidiyah neighborhood in northern Mosul around noon.

– Police found a dead body for a man who was abducted yesterday in Tahreer neighborhood in eastern Mosul in the afternoon.’

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