Holy Day attacks Kill at Least 56
Sunni Arab guerrillas seeking to provoke further fighting in Iraq’s sectarian civil war targeted Shiites on the holy day of Ashura, Tuesday, killing 56 and wounding dozens. Many of the Shiites targeted were in smaller towns or cities, or were hit by mortar shells. The deployment of 11,000 men from the army and police in the holy city of Karbala forestalled attacks there.
Reuters reports this and other political violence. Note that Baladruz and Khaniqin, where Shiite mosques and worshippers were targeted, are east or northeast of Baghdad and are in mixed Sunni-Shiite regions.
McClatchy reports that a British base at Basra in the south received an intensive mortar shell bombardment on Ashura’. Some nationalistic Shiite militias in Basra deeply resent the foreign troop presence there.