36 Dead, 72 Wounded in Attack on Police Academy
Two suicide bombers, alleged to be brothers, attacked a police academy in eastern Baghdad on Tuesday, killing 36 cadets and policemen and wounding some 72, according to the Ministry of the Interior. The attack was claimed on the internet for the Zarqawi group and represented it as revenge by radical Sunnis on the largely Shiite ministry of interior and its special police. The ministry denied the charges. It should be remembered that anyone can post anonymous claims on the internet.
In a separate bombing, a kamikaze killed 3 and wounded 20 in a Baghdad cafe.
There was more fighting between the US and guerrillas in Ramadi, though there seems to be something of a press blackout about it.
Several items reported by Reuters are quite disturbing. A bodyguard of Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari was shot dead. Can you imagine the headlines if that had happened with regard to a Western head of state?
And, a fanatical mob of Kurds from the (relatively secular-leaning) Kurdistan Democratic Party of Massoud Barzani killed 4 members of a Kurdish Islamist party in Irbil [actually the problems were apparently actually in Dohuk, not Irbil]. The Kurdish devotees of political Islam, a small set of parties, are running on a separate ticket in the Dec. 15 elections. In the last elections, of Jan. 30, all 5 significant Kurdish parties ran on the same list.
What with prime minister’s bodyguards being offed and members of a rival party being torn limb from limb by mobs, it is difficult to see Iraq as a shining beacon of democracy. But I doubt either of these incidents will be reported anywhere on US television.
‘ * ARBIL – Four people were killed in northern Iraq on Tuesday when members of a Kurdish Islamic party that is challenging the dominant Kurdish bloc in next week’s election was attacked by mobs, party officials said. A senior official of the Kurdistan Islamic Union was among those killed, they said . . .
* AL-RASHAD – Shahla Hasan, the head of Baiji city council, and a finance official from Tikrit were killed by gunmen in the town of al-Rashad, 45km west of Kirkuk . . .
DHULUIYA – Iraqi and U.S. forces killed at least four insurgents who were preparing to fire rockets near the northern town of Dhuluiya on Monday, the U.S. military said . . .
KHWEYLIS – Gunmen shot dead a guard who worked for Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari’s office as he left his home in Khweylis, north of Baghdad, Iraqi police said.