Guerrillas Kill 33, Wound Dozens
The guerrilla war in Iraq boiled along on Monday. In addition to the operations around Baquba reported yesterday morning, AP describes several further attacks:
‘ In Balad, southeast of Baqouba, a car bomb killed 12 people. In Baghdad, gunmen killed two police officers and wounded a third. Two civilians also were killed when a roadside bomb targeting a joint U.S.-Iraqi military convoy exploded in the west Baghdad neighborhood of Amiriyah. In Baghdad’s southern Dora district, gunmen killed Mahmood Khudier, a former Iraqi army officer, while a man was killed in a mortar attack in Qaim, near the Syrian border, police said. In the latest in a wave of kidnappings, a Jordanian businessman abducted in Iraq was freed after his family paid a $100,000 ransom, his brother said. Ibrahim Al-Maharmeh, a food importer, was kidnapped in Baghdad on Saturday.’
An apparent “friendly fire” incident in which US troops killed a Bulgarian soldier has strained relations between that country and the US. Some analysts believe the involvement in Iraq will become an issue in Bulgaria’s next elections. A close association with Bush and the unpopular Iraq war hurt Prime Minister Aznar in Spain, contributing to his defeat in 2004.
Questions continue to swirl around the shooting of freed Italian hostage Giuliana Sregna and an Italian intelligence operative. Some are speculating that the Italian government has been paying ransoms, and had attempted to hide the mission from the US for that reason. Ms. Sregna herself suspects that she discovered things about the Fallujah campaign and perhaps other aspects of US military operations in Iraq that the US did not wish revealed.
The Dutch, who are leaving Iraq, handed security duties in Samawah over to the British on Monday.