5 US soldiers Killed, 20 Wounded at Samarra
4 Iraqis dead, 24 wounded
AP reports that the chaos in Samarra spilled over Thursday onto the nearby US base. Guerrillas attacked the base with a car bomb and nearly 40 rounds of mortar fire. They killed 5 US soldiers, 1 Iraqi guardsman, and 3 civilians. Some 44 persons were wounded, including 20 US soldiers and 4 Iraqi guardsmen.
The US riposted with helicopters, which fired missiles in the city at suspected guerrilla hide-outs.
Earlier on Thursday, guerrillas wounded a US soldier by detonating a roadside bomb as a military convoy passed. In another incident, guerrillas raked a Turkish truck with machine gun fire, killing the two Turkish drivers.
Assailants used a car bomb to assassinate Ali Abbas, a former high Baath official, in southern Baghdad. (- ash-Sharq al-Awsat)
Al-Tawhid took two Bulgarians hostage and threatened to execute them.
Al-Hayat says that the Iraqi Ministry of Health released statistics showing that some 400 Iraqis have been killed and over 1600 wounded in violence since Prime Minister Iyad Allawi came into office on June 28.
When I read these numbers in the Arabic, I did a double take and could barely believe them. I thought I must have missed some key phrase. But no, that’s what the article says.
Turkey insisted that the northern oil city of Kirkuk retain its current ethnic mix (probably 1/3 each Turkmen, Arabs and Kurds), and expressed worries that ethnic tensions in and over the city could eventuate in civil war.
Marine Cpl. Wassef Ali Hassoun came into the US embassy in Beirut after allegedly being kidnapped and held hostage and is going to a US base in Germany. The entire story has become so murky that I am reluctant to say anything at all about it. A firefight broke out among Hassoun’s clansmen and others in Tripoli, northern Lebanon, with enemies charging that the Hassouns are collaborators because he is in the Marines. The Marines are not entirely sure whether the hostage incident was real or staged.