Carnage becoming Routine in Iraq: Another Bloody Sunday
ArabNews summarizes the carnage in Iraq on Sunday.
Tikrit: Guerrillas ambushed a bus as it let off Iraqis working for the US military at a weapons dump in Tikrit on Sunday morning around 8:30 am, spraying it with machine-gun fire and then fleeing. They killed 17 Iraqi civilians and wounded another 13. (The incident shows that the guerrillas are perfectly happy to kill Sunni Arabs as well as members of other groups). I wonder if their employment at a weapons dump was a motive for the shooting? Were these Iraqi civilians helping detonate munitions that the guerrillas would prefer to loot?
Baiji Around 8:30 am, a guerrilla drove a car bomb into a checkpoint in Baiji manned by Iraqi National Guardsmen. He detonated his payload, killing three of the Guards and wounding 18. One of those killed was a company commander.
Samarra Guerrillas staged an ambush of National Guards as they patrolled this largely Sunni city an hour’s drive north of Baghdad, killing one guardsman and wounding another 4.
LatifiyahGuerrillas ambushed Iraqi National Guards jointly patrolling with US troops in this small city south of Baghdad, killing one Iraqi soldier and wounding 6.
Guerrillas used roadside bombs to kill, altogether, 4 US troops in Baghdad, Baqubah and Mosul over the weekend.
ArabNews writes, “About 40 small, mostly Sunni political parties met yesterday to demand the elections be postponed by six months, but stopped short of calling for a boycott.” They warned again that if the Sunni Arabs do not or cannot take part in their proportion to the population, the resulting government will lack legitimacy.
My own suggestion as to how to resolve the problem of a Sunni boycott appeared Sunday in the Detroit News. I suggest a one-time set-aside of 25% of seats in Parliament for the predominantly Sunni parties that do take part in the elections.
The US military on Sunday arrested Muhammad Hasan Al Yahya. He is the coordinator of the six-man committee that is cobbling together a mega-list of Shiite candidates for parliament. KarbalaNews.net reveals that Al Yahya is a blood relative of the Grand Ayatollah, and says that the US forces surrounded the Waziriyyah district of Baghdad where Al Yahya lives, and closed in on him.
A number of Shiite figures immediately demanded his release. KarbalaNews.net maintains that its sources in Najaf say that the US released Al Yahya late Sunday. There is no indication as to why he might have been arrested.
Rumors are flying in Baghdad as to whether Muqtada al-Sadr and his movement will run on Sistani’s mega-list or not. Al-Hayat is saying that he has declined. But The Khalij Times says he is joining.
Meanwhile, the Financial Times reports that Shiite clerics in Baghdad are finding their patience tested by continued Sunni attacks, and some are beginning to adopt a militant posture that they had earlier avoided.