Civil War Violence Leaves 60 Dead over 100 Wounded
130,000 Displaced in Past 4 Months
Bombings and other civil war violence took the lives of at least 60 Iraqis on Monday. In addition, guerrillas kidnapped 10 Sunni students who were attending a technical institute in Shiite East Baghdad.
In the worst incident, guerrillas detonated a bomb in a crowded market in the Shiite city of Hilla south of Baghdad, killing 30 and wounding 56.
In the village of Khairnabat near Baquba, a troubled city northeast of the capital, a motorcycle bomb in a crowded market killed at least 18 and wounded 30.
Guerrillas used a car bomb in the Amiriyah district of Baghdad to kill 5 Iraqi soldiers.
In Saydiyah, southern Baghdad guerrillas detonated a bomb at a checkpoint, killing 3 police commandos.
Guerrillas tried yet again on Monday to kill Adnan Dulaimi, a leader of the Sunni fundamentalist Iraqi Accord Front that is cooperating with the new government of PM al-Maliki. They only managed to kill his bodyguard.
Four Russian embassy employees, kidnapped earlier, were confirmed dead.
US and Iraqi troops–but mainly US troops are trying to take Ramadi neighborhood by neighborhood and then to garrison Iraqi troops in each so as to keep them secure in the long term. But there is a problem with Iraqi troops not showing up to fight, saying they do not want to fight other Iraqis or that they fear they will provoke tribal feuds if they fight the Dulaim in Ramadi.
As the AFP/ Daily Times piece linked above notes, the Iraqi government is saying that 7 Sunni Arab guerrilla groups, mostly Baathist in character, have indicated a willingness to engage in talks. This news may or may not lead anywhere. Guerrilla insurgencies often talk to the governments they are endeavoring to overthrow, and sometimes go on to overthrow it even after the talks.
Iraq violence in the past 4 months has expelled 130,000 persons from their homes and neighborhoods, leaving them displaced and uncertain of their future.
Al-Sharq al-Awsat/ DPA say [Ar.] that the people of Tikrit are disappointed in Maliki’s reconciliation plan, insofar as the amnesty it offers to opponents of the new regime is too limited.
School enrollment is up over-all in Iraq. This phenomenon is largely a result of the removal of the United States/ United Nations sanctions, which had devastated the Iraqi middle classes, and had actually cause the literacy rate to fall substantially in the 1990s. Tavernise notes, however, that school enrollment has actually fallen in Baghdad, which is about a fourth of the country.