6 US Troops’ Deaths Announced; 4 Police Killed
The US military authorities announced Monday that guerrillas had killed 6 US troops in the past three days in separate incidents, deaths that had not previously been announced.
With regard to Iraqi deaths, Iraqi guerrillas concentrated their attacks Monday and the previous day on individuals in the Iraqi police, leaving four of them dead, including an officer, and eight wounded.
In separate incidents, guerrillas killed 9 US soldiers and wounded four.
Near al-Hillah in the south, gunmen opened fire on a police car, killing one and wounding two. The assailants drove off in the police car.
In Baqubah in the east, guerrillas killed two policemen, one an officer, and wounded two others seriously with a roadside bomb. The policemen had been heading to the General Hospital in the city to give blood for the besieged people of Fallujah. (For those who like tragic ironies, here you go: these policemen were giving blood to help Fallujah, which is not exactly an act of solidarity with their American overseers; but then they got blown away by guerrillas who saw them as proxies for the Americans, and the two who survived ended up needing the transfusions themselves.)
In Kirkuk, guerrillas killed a policeman and wounded four civilians with a mortar shell near a checkpoint.
Two huge explosions shook downtown Baghdad early Tuesday morning. Although the CPA tries to suggest that these were “controlled explosions” of leftover Baath ordnance being carried out by US troops, that cover story seems awfully thin. I can’t imagine they are carrying out controlled explosions at 6 in the morning in downtown Baghdad. These are guerrilla strikes, and it is embarrassing to the US that they can get so close to their HQ, so they try to muddy the waters with this ‘controlled explosions’ malarkey.
Meanwhile, 9 Americans, including 2 soldiers, are being held hostage in Iraq. The Chinese taken earlier were released (it seems they were mistaken for Koreans or Japanese), but now 11 Russians have been captured, and 2 Czechs. Danish NGOs are leaving, and it seems likely that most civilian aid workers will now flee the country, setting back reconstruction immeasurably. The new hostage crisis should raise serious questions about whether the privatization of war in the US has gone too far.
Although the situation in Fallujah is still tense, and a “cease-fire” is probably the wrong thing to call it, negotiations continued Tuesday in hopes of ending the US siege of the city of some 300,000, a third of the inhabitants of which have fled. al-Sabaah, an Iraqi newspaper, reports continued mediation efforts by Ghazi al-Yawir, a Sunni member of the Interim Governing Council, and by the Iraqi Islamic Party, a Sunni fundamentalist group, the head of which also serves in the IGC.