37 Dead As Palestine Hotel Is Attacked

37 Dead as Palestine Hotel is Attacked

A set of 3 powerful bombings in Baghdad, along with other attacks and violence, left 37 dead and dozens wounded on Monday. Among the dead in Baghdad, al-Zaman says, was the director of the biggest of the American security companies in Iraq, which is responsible for safeguarding the big personalities and diplomats.

The full force of the bomb blasts, some of which targeted the Palestine Hotel (frequented by foreigners and journalists), is visible in a CNN Video (sorry, you have to scroll down or search for the video– I could not find a way to bookmark it past the javascript.) You could see the flash of the first bomb, and the mushroom cloud of the second (all big bombs produce mushroom clouds). These huge bombings occurred around Firdaws Square, where in April of 2003 US troops helped pull down statues of Saddam Hussein. Nearly 2 1/2 years later, the US no more controls Firdaws Square than it controls the surface of Mars.

Twelve workers were found dead in Jurf al-Sakhr south of Baghdad; usually these murders are sectarian in character. Moroccan diplomats appear to have been kidnapped on the road between Iraq and Jordan. A car bomber detonated his payload near a US convoy in Mosul. In Hilla, guerrillas used mortar fire to kill Muhsin Abdul A’imah, a leader of the Badr Corps and three of his guards.

The US military on Monday announced that a GI had been killed at Ramadi.

In Fallujah, about 700 local police took over security duties from the Ministry of Interior gendarmes (the latter mostly Shiites and Badr Corps). (-Al-Zaman & AP).

The Iraqi election commission released some numbers concerning the recent constitutional referendum. Numbers for only 14 of 18 provinces were released, and they revealed that Sunni Arabs were hostile or lukewarm. The numbers for the key Ninevah province have not yet surfaced.

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