11 US Soldiers Wounded in Samarra
Car Bombs & Assassinations
clashes in Samarra left 11 US soldiers wounded, with 8 civilians killed and 12 wounded. Reuters naughtily notes that the US had claimed to have pacified the town earlier. Also in Samarra, guerrillas detonated two car bombs, killing one child and wounding a translator.
In Fallujah, US warplanes struck the city again. An eyewitness stringer for Reuters saw a man, a woman and four children being pulled from the rubble of one of the buildings the US planes had demolished. The US military denied the report, attributing it to a disinformation campaign by the followers of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
You know, it is inevitable that if you bomb a populated city downtown, you will kill families. I wish the US military would just admit that they are doing so, virtually every day. They could go on to say that they think this cost is worth it if they can actually conquer the city and clean out the Muslim fundamentalist militiamen who control it and use it as a base to engage in terrorist bombings. It would be controversial, but at least it would be honest. And maybe we in this country could have a public debate about whether it is legitimate to bomb civilian cities that we have already conquered.
Reuters has tape:
“Is this the gift that (interim Iraqi Prime Minister) Iyad Allawi is giving to the people of Falluja?” asked one man, pointing to the small bodies of two of the children lying in the trunk of a car. “Every day they strike Falluja.”
Az-Zaman reports that also on Wednesday, in the al-Durah district of southern Baghdad guerrillas detonated a car bomb outside an Iraqi police station, wounding 10 persons, including 5 policemen, according to preliminary reports.
Guerrillas detonated a car bomb on the road to the airport, attempting to hit US humvees, but appear to have missed.
On Wednesday, a leading member of the Iraqi National Accord was assassinated. Mazin al-Samarra’i, a prominent member of the political party of caretaker Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, had played a role in the negotiations between the government and the people of Samarra during the recent clashes there.
This news is more alarming than will be generally recognized. Here we have someone from the Prime Minister’s own party, and who was a prominent negotiator at Samarra’ (also the home town of Interior Minister Falah al-Naqib). If such an individual can be killed easily and with impunity, then no one is safe, including Allawi himself.
Also assassinated was the president of the Veterinarians’ Union, Turki Jabbar al-Sa`idi. He was killed in Abu Ghuraib district on his way back home from work.
Az-Zaman reports that extremist Muslim student groups in the University of Mosul, the second biggest in the country, have issued death threats to Christian students at the university. As a result, 1500 Christian students have been prevented from attending classes. The extremist student groups have established an iron control over the campus. The Chaldo-Assyrian Student association has issued a protest.