A truck bombing at a Shiite mosque in Taza, Iraq, near the northern oil city of Kirkuk killed 70 and wounded 170 just after noon as they were leaving after `asr prayers. The press is saying that the bombing came only a day before US troops were to cease patrolling major cities, but this sort of incident is surely irrelevant to the latter. Taza is not a major city and I doubt US troops have been near it recently. Such soft targets are impossible to protect, whether for Iraqi security forces or for the US military, which is why the hard line Sunni Arab guerrillas hit them. They are still attempting to disrupt the formation of a Shiite-dominated (and to some extent Kurdish-dominated) new Iraq. But this bombing in Taza is unlikely to have long-term such political consequences. It is the act of an attempted spoiler. What it does underline is that Gen. Ray Odierno was correct when he admitted, ‘It isn’t going to end, see?’ And that is true whether US troops patrol major cities or not.
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