30 Killed in Bombings in Iraq, Dozens Wounded
Ash-Sharq al-Awsat estimates the number of dead in Iraq from bombings and attacks in Iraq on Thursday at 30. AFP, apparently filing a bit earlier, put the toll at 26. A string of bombings targeted police and military targets in Baghdad.
In the 5 days from 30 April through 4 May, the toll looks like this:
Civilians: 88 killed, 344 wounded
Multi-National Forces: 9 Killed, 14 wounded
Iraqi Security Froces: 27 Killed, 64 wounded
Misc. 4 killed, 2 wounded
Armed Opposition Groups: 25 killed, 2 wounded
Foreign Workers: 1 killed
I suspect a lot of civilian deaths are not getting into such statistics. One pretty frightening conclusion is that the guerrillas are killing and wounding more Iraqi police and army troops than vice versa, and if we count in Multinational Forces casualties, the guerrillas are clear winners during these five days.
A US military commander suggests that more car bombs in Iraq appear to be being detonated remotely. This technique suggests that the masterminds of the bombings either do no trust the drivers to commit suicide, or are not telling them that they are on a suicide mission in the first place. It could also suggest that the drivers are themselves coerced or hostages (or have loved ones who are).
Patrick Cockburn worries about renewed ethnic tensions in Iraq. (Most of the recent attacks have been by Sunni Arabs on Shiites or Kurds).
The AFP report cited above goes on to say:
“Illustrating the uphill task in training new Iraqi security forces, U.S. officers said they had pulled another battalion of Iraqi commandos from the rebel bastion of Samarra 125 kilometers north of Baghdad last month after repeated incidents of misconduct. In a March incident that sealed the unit’s fate, the commandos set a home near Samarra on fire after searching it and finding no incriminating evidence.”
You read something like that last sentence and do a double take and say whaat?
See also Helena Cobban’s “Caudillo of Samarra”.