25 Dead, Dozens Wounded
Sadrists in Tuz Khurmato Targeted
At least 25 Iraqis were killed in guerilla violence on Friday and dozens wounded. The biggest incident was a huge bomb at a Turkmen Shiite mosque in the town of Tuz Khurmato south of Kirkuk, which killed 14 worshippers and wounded 28. The mosque is affiliated with Muqtada al-Sadr. Some reports say a young Saudi was arrested with a second bomb, heading for another Shiite mosque. In Baghdad, Shaikh Fadil Lami, a preacher of the Sadr movement, was gunned down, as were several Shiite laborers. Iraqi Sunni clerics continued to condemn the strategy announced by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi of targeting Shiites.
Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, head of the powerful Guardian Council in Iran, on Friday blamed the United States for the ongoing bombings and violence in Iraq. He insisted that the new Iraqi government could handle itself and that US troops should just leave. (Jannati must know that the new Iraqi government cannot in fact handle itself, and that the Sunni Arab guerrilla movement would eat the elected politicians for lunch; but perhaps he hopes the new government will be forced to rely on Iran more if the US is not around . . .).
An Iraqi parliamentary committee is demanding more sovereignty from the US.
Gary Kamiya reviews Anthony Shadid’s new book on what went wrong with the American enterprise in Iraq. As Kamiya notes, Shadid is remarkable for his knowledge of Arabic and consequent ability to get the non-obvious stories.