Car Bomb Kills 20 in Basra
7 US Troops Killed
Bombing near Qaim
Guerrilla violence in Iraq killed 7 GIs on Monday, making October the deadliest month in Iraq for US troops since the January 30, 2005, elections.
Al-Zaman/ AFP/ DPA: Monday evening, guerrillas detonated a car bomb in the middle of Basra, killing at least 20 persons and wounding 54. Basra has been the target of such indiscriminate bombings only on a few occassions since April of 2003. Some believe that the guerrillas are trying to bait Shiites into launching a civil war against Sunni Arabs.
A car bomb in the Shu’lah district of north Baghdad wounded 5 Iraqis. Guerrillas shot down the director of a grade school in the Ghazaliyah district of Baghdad along with her husband. Another car bomb over at Sinjar on the Syrian border killed one person and wounded 7.
Near the Shiite holy city of Karbala, Iraqi intelligence forces fought a gun battle with assailants .
It was alleged, but denied by the US military, that US airstrikes killed 40 and wounded 20 persons in the town of Karabila near the Syrian border, according to the Baghdad Times. The article points out that the bombing came just a day or two before the Eid al-Fitr, the holy day marking the end of the Ramadan fast, and seems implicitly to criticize the US for not respecting the Muslim sacred calendar by putting off this operation. A US military spokesman said in response to an email that the only bomb dropped in that area was dropped before dawn on a safehouse of terrorists. Muhammad al-Karbuli, a clan elder in the region, denied that it harbored any terrorists, and said the region just had innocent families. The US maintained that it was hitting an al-Qaeda cell, and said it had chosen that time to drop the bomb in order to minimize civilian casualties.
I have no way of knowing the truth; and I am suspicious of casualty reports coming out of the Qaim area, which may be doctored by the guerrilla movement. But I am giving the report here just to show the sort of thing being written in the Iraqi press (and Al-Zaman is relatively kind to the Americans, usually.