3 US Soldiers Wounded, 1 Iraqi Policeman Killed and 1 Wounded; 7 Protesters Killed;
Demonstrations and Counter-Demonstrations Throughout Iraq
Guerrillas set off a roadside bomb in Tikrit, wounding three US soldiers on Tuesday. Some 250 students demonstrated in Tikrit in front of their school. Hundreds of US troops were sent into Tikrit, supported by tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles.
Guerrillas set fire to a train carrying provisions to US troops in western Iraq (al-Zaman).
Guerrillas attempted an ambush against US forces in Samarra’. US soldiers claim to have killed 11 of the attackers. The Toronto Globe and Mail cautioned: “Police and residents were contesting that version last night, however, saying just one Iraqi had been killed, and that the Americans were the only ones shooting, opening fire on a residential area in retaliation for the bombing. Neither side reported U.S. casualties.” The US soldiers later launched a sweep, and arrested 73 suspected guerrillas, including important leader Qais Hattam, said to have been bankrolling attacks there.
In Mosul, about 1000 students marched through the street waving Iraqi paper money with Saddam’s picture on it. The demonstration ended violently in front of the university, when unidentified gunmen opened fire (from the crowd?), killing one Iraqi policeman and wounding another.
In Ramadi, demonstrations continued in favor of Saddam, with US forces killing at least two of the protesters. Az-Zaman and the LA Times mentioned unconfirmed reports that pro-Saddam demonstrators were also killed in Falluja, saying that altogether the US killed 7 demonstrators in the two cities.. Reports also spoke of demonstrators in Falluja setting fire to or blowing up government buildings. The Iraqi newspaper reported unconfirmed information that US troops had killed one Iraqi and wounded another in unrelated incidents in the Kirkuk area.
In Baquba, 200 supporters of Saddam demonstrated, and then they attacked the headquarters of the Badr Corps, the paramilitary of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, breaking windows and damaging a wall. No US troops or Iraqi police intervened (az-Zaman, al-Hayat). There has been a Baath political resurgence in the eastern city of Baquba (pop. 280,000) and Diyala province more generally because of the rehabilitation of most Baathists there by the US-appointed governor.
In a village near Baquba on Tuesday evening, a crowd of Saddam supporters demonstrated and clashed with police, forcing the police out of their headquarters.(al-Hayat).
In the Amiriya, Ghazaliya, al-Jihad and al-Khadra’ quarters of Baghdad, near the airport, demonstrators unfurled posters of Saddam and fired their weapons into the air.(az-Zaman).
The Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq organized Shiite demonstrations celebrating Saddam’s capture, in Baghdad and Basra, which also demanded that he be tried and punished for his crimes. Hundreds came out in Baghdad, and about a thousand in the southern city of Basra. (az-Zaman). SCIRI has been among the main political voices in Iraq calling for Saddam to be tried by a tribunal in that country.