Guerrilla Violence Kills 48
Jaafari Criticizes US Rules of Engagement
Guerrillas launched a new wave of bomb attacks in Iraq on Sunday, killing at least 48 persons and wounding dozens more. AP reports:
In Baghdad, a suicide bomber targeted a recruiting center for the new Iraqi military. He killed 25 and wounded nearly 50 persons, most of them recruits.
Also in Baghdad, someone shot a mother and her seven children in their home. The father, who was not at home and so survived, said that they were killed because they were Shiites. He disclaimed any involvement in politics.
‘ _ At the Walid border crossing into Syria, two suicide car bombers killed at least seven Iraqi customs officials.
_ Near the northern city of Mosul, a suicide car bomber rammed into a police convoy carrying an Iraqi brigadier general, killing five policemen, the U.S. military and police said. The senior officer was not injured.
_ A suicide car bomb in Kirkuk killed at least four civilians . . .
_ Two other suicide car bombers struck near Fallujah, killing an Iraqi civilian and wounding a Marine, the U.S. Marines said. ‘
The body of Iraqi athlete Ali Shakir, who had been kidnapped in Latifiyah on Thursday, was found Sunday floating in the Tigris River.
Ibrahim Jaafari tried to make up with Egypt. He said he had not implied that slain Egyptian diplomat Ihab al Sherif had been kidnapped because he was in contact with the guerrilla insurgency. (Some Iraqi observers had made that allegation). In a big setback to US Secretary of State Condi Rice, who had wanted to increase international diplomatic representation in Baghdad, Egypt has moved its diplomatic mission from Baghdad to Amman.
Jaafari also criticized the US military for firing on Iraqi civilian vehicles that venture too close to US convoys, a practice that has resulted in many deaths of innocent civilians. Jaafari can’t understand why they can’t shoot out the tires or something instead of aiming for the driver. The US military response is that the suicide bombers also try to get close to the convoys, and the soldiers give fair warning before shooting.
Daniel Benjamin writing in Time lays out the case for why the Iraq War has made us significantly less safe.
AFP reports that Ashraf Qazi, the envoy of United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, met Sunday with Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani and with young Shiite nationalist Muqtada al-Sadr in Najaf. The report says:
‘ Mr. Qazi briefed the Grand Ayatollah al Sistani on the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), including the work of the electoral team, the office of constitutional support and UNAMI’s efforts to facilitate dialogue among all parties in Iraq. The Grand Ayatollah thanked Mr. Qazi and encouraged the UN to continue to play an active role in facilitating dialogue. The two leaders also discussed the ongoing constitution-making process, and modalities for the December elections. ‘
Note that both Sistani and al-Sadr were very happy about the UN involvement in Iraq and clearly want more.
The Washington Post reports on the tensions between the virtual army of private security guards in Iraq and the US military. Imagine the tensions with the Iraqis!