Car Bomb at Hilla Police Academy Kills at Least 20
Guerrillas detonated a car bomb outside a police academy in Hilla, a city of 500,000, largely Shiite, in the mixed Babil province an hour south of Baghdad. Numbers of wounded were not available but must run to the dozens. The Academy was holding a graduation ceremony Wednesday morning.
The guerrillas have been targeting police, especially newly-trained ones, since they are fairly soft targets, ironically enough. Because a lot of the new recruits to the police are poor Shiite young men, and the guerrillas are largely Sunni Arabs, there is an undertone of sectarian violence to these attacks, which sometimes becomes explicit.
Other violence in Iraq killed people in Amiriyah, Baqubah and Ramad early on Wednesday or late Tuesday.
The Umar Ibn al-Khattab Brigade, a subsidiary of the Islamic Anger Brigade, released a video showing the car bombing of an American convoy on Monday. Umar ibn al-Khattab was the second Caliph or vicar of the Prophet, according to Sunni Muslims, but is disliked by Shiite Muslims, who feel he shunted aside the Prophet’s son-in-law, Ali. Calling the unit the Umar Ibn al-Khattab Brigade is a way of emphasizing its Sunni character, since some Shiite even ritually curse Umar.