30 Killed On Tuesday Including Us

30 Killed on Tuesday, Including US Soldier

Early on Monday, Iraqi troops supported by US forces fought a firefight in northern Baghdad, killing several guerrillas, according to US military sources as reported by the LBC satellite channel.

UPI reports that at least 30 persons died in violent incidents in Iraq on Tuesday.

The biggest such incident was a firefight in Mosul, sparked by an attempted assassination by guerrillas, to which US forces replied, killing 17 fighters and capturing 11.

Several persons were killed by unexploded ordnance, which is likely to be a long-term problem in both Afghanistan and Iraq, and is one of those seldom-considered costs of war. (Unexploded munitions and mines are a big danger to civilians in the aftermath of wars, and most often clean-up is completely inadequate after the war is over. The poor Tunisians had to beg on bended knee for years for the US and the Germans to do something about all the dangerous materials they had left behind after WW II, which went on injuring unwitting civilians for a long time after the war.)

The US military also stumbled upon a training camp in Iraq for foreign jihadis. I doubt this sort of discovery is very significant for counter-insurgency. Foreign fighters are probably only 5 percent of the guerrillas. The most dangerous ex-Baathists don’t need training– they got it years ago, in the Iran-Iraq or Gulf Wars.

Ash-Sharq al-Awsat reports that engineering students at Basra University continued their strikes and demonstrations Tuesday, protesting the violence they experienced from students adhering to the Sadr Movement, the radical Shiite trend, who disrupted a picnic last week and attempted to intimidate students into a puritan style of life. Iraqi national guards arrested students from both factions (liberals and Sadrists). The university administration has called for an end to the strike, and has pledged to ban party politics from university life.

From al-Zaman, March 19, BBC World Monitoring: “Al-Zaman publishes a 100-word front-page report stating that three mortar grenades targeted a school in the city of Al-Fallujah. The report says that the attack caused damage in the building, but no casualties were recorded.” Maybe it isn’t the safest city in Iraq, after all.

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