Scorpion Brigade Head Killed by Bombing
Construction Workers Killed
An assassin managed to get a bomb into the office of Col. Salam al-Mamuri, head of a unit of the special police commandos in Hillah south of Bahgdad, and blew him up along with an aide, wounding 7 other officers. His Scorpion Brigade, a unit of 800 special forces men, fought both Sunni Arab radicals and Shiite militiamen in mixed Babil Province. He had resisted pressure to allow into his unit members of the Badr Corps, the paramilitary of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, which controls Babil politically.
14 construction workers kidnapped near their mainly Shiite village of Balad on Thursday showed up dead in an orchard near the mostly Sunni Arab town of Dhuluiyah on Friday morning.
Guerrillas in Saifiyah, south Baghdad, attacked women picking vegetables in a field, killing 6 adults and two girls, and kidnapping two teenaged girls.
Reuters surveys the major incidents.
Al-Sharq al-Awsat reports that nationalist Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr issued a statement threatening to wash his hands of any of his followers who “unjustifiably attack the Iraqi people.”
Sunni Arab politician Adnan Dulaimi made fun of Muqtada, telling the newspaper, “Who is to decide,” he asked, which attacks were justified.
Both Gen. Dannatt and Prime Minister Tony Blair attempted to calm the controversy that broke out when the general admitted that the Occupation forces were probably causing trouble just by being there. On Friday the general insisted he was not calling for an immediate pull-out. Blair appears to have decided to put the best face possible on the matter, with the comical result that he affirmed he believed in everything the general said.