23 Dead in 4 Car Bombings, Other Violence
The guerrilla war in Iraq marched on, on Friday, with four big carbombs and other attacks that left a total of some 23 persons dead, including at least one US soldier in Anbar province. (This conclusion is reached on the basis of the report linked here as well as late news in the Arab press). Two of the car bombs were detonated by suicide bombers in Iskandariyah in Babil province south of Baghdad, and two more in the western city of Ramadi. At a checkpoint in Ramadi, a car bomb killed 11 Iraqi gendarmes. Another convoy was attacked just south of Baghdad with rocket fire.
In addition to the car bombs, there were several other attacks. Guerrillas assassinated Col. Salman Muhammad Hasan, who commanded an Iraqi army unit in Basra, while he was in Baghdad for a funeral. Near Kirkuk, guerrillas kidnapped a Col. Siraj al-Din, an officer in the Ministry of Defense.
In Baghdad, guerrillas shot down five women translators who worked for the US military.
Guerrillas blew up an oil pipeline near Abu Ghuraib, which links a refinery near Baghdad with the northern oil fields.
Al-Zaman says that Iyad Allawi is reconsidering his refusal to join a government of national unity. His demand is that the new government not change security arrangements. Allawi brought in ex-Baathists to the Ministry of Interior and the secret police, a move that the religious Shiite parties and the Kurds who are now on top have bitterly criticized. It may be he is angling for the job of Minister of the Interior (which is analogous to Homeland Security plus the FBI in the US).