Nearly 50 Dead Saturday
US Fires on Baquba Mosque
Muqtada: Postpone Kirkuk Referendum
Police found 24 bodies in Baghdad on Saturday, according to Reuters. 3 soldiers were found shot dead in Kirkuk. A dead policeman was found in the southern Shiite city of Diwaniya. A suicide truck bomber attacked an Iraqi miltiary checkpoint near Iskandariya south of Baghdad, killing 12 soldiers and wounding 30. A US soldier was shot dead in Diyala province. Other major incidents follow. Please note that Iraqis are very touchy about the desecration of religious buildings, and two appear to have been desecrated in as many days.
‘ BAQUBA – U.S. helicopters fired Hellfire missiles at a Shi’ite mosque in the volatile city of Baquba, north of Baghdad, after troops came under machinegun and rocket-propelled grenade fire from gunmen inside the building, the U.S. military said. It gave no casualty figures. . .
MOSUL – A roadside bomb killed one policeman and wounded two others in Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said. A mortar round which landed nearby killed one civilian and wounded four others. . . .
BAGHDAD – Two people including a policeman were killed and eight others wounded in a car bomb attack on a police patrol in the al-Shaab neighbourhood in northern Baghdad, police said. . .
BAGHDAD – A car bomb exploded near a police patrol in Adhamiya in northern Baghdad, killing two policemen, the U.S. military said in a statement. A third was shot dead immediately after the explosion. . .
BAGHDAD – An armed group blew up the Sunni Fatah-Basha mosque in Bayaa in southern Baghdad on Friday, police said. There were no casualties, but the U.S. military said the mosque suffered substantial damage. . .
‘ The tragic fate of the national museum in Baghdad in April 2003 was as if federal troops had invaded New York city, sacked the police and told the criminal community that the Metropolitan was at their disposal. The local tank commander was told specifically not to protect the museum for a full two weeks after the invasion. Even the Nazis protected the Louvre. ‘
Sawt al-Iraq in Arabic reports that the Sadr movement (Shiite puritan) and the National Dialogue Front (Sunni secular) have both called for a postponement on considering the status of oil-rich Kirkuk. The Kurds insist that Kirkuk province have a referendum on whether to join the Kurdistan Regional Government by the end of this year, 2007. A lot of us are afraid that this will provoke yet another war. The Turkmen minority objects. It is about 800,000 persons strong and about half are Shiites, hence Muqtada al-Sadr’s interest. The Arabs in Kirkuk province also mostly object, and hence the NDF’s interest.