Wednesday, October 11, 2006
From the Houston Chronicle...with body counts like this, it becomes much easier to believe the statistics from Johns Hopkins.
Baghdad: another bloody day
Bombs kill 17; bullets, torture claim 50 more
By MICHAEL LUO
New York Times
BAGHDAD, IRAQ - Dozens of bodies turned up in Baghdad and a series of bombs killed at least 17 people on Tuesday, indicating that the sectarian violence in the capital showed little sign of easing, despite efforts by the U.S. military and its Iraqi counterparts to quell it.
At least 50 bodies, riddled with bullets and many bearing signs of torture, were discovered across Baghdad, an Interior Ministry official said. About 60 bodies were discovered the day before.
Meanwhile, a troubled neighborhood at the center of the U.S. military's push to secure the capital was hit by three deadly bomb blasts, including one at a busy bakery, the authorities said.
The bombings came in addition to a series of huge explosions that shook the capital over several hours late Tuesday evening, apparently caused by a fire inside an ammunition holding area at a U.S. military base in southern Baghdad.
The deadly blasts took place in the southern Baghdad neighborhood of Dora. The area was one of the earliest to experience the sectarian bloodletting in Baghdad.
U.S. and Iraqi soldiers moved into the neighborhood in force in August, as part of a new security plan for the capital that involved neighborhood-by-neighborhood sweeps in which troops would secure and hold areas.
Dora had been mostly quiet over the past two months, aside from periodic explosions that killed small numbers of people. Residents were able to sleep on their rooftops again. Garbage crews moved through and cleaned its streets for the first time in months.
On Tuesday, at about 12:30 p.m. a bomb exploded outside a bakery and killed 10 civilians and wounded four others. The blast reduced the bakery to rubble.
About the same time, six policemen were killed when, as they responded to a report about a body in a car, the car exploded, he said. Four others were wounded.
A half hour earlier, a roadside bomb killed one policeman and wounded four others, according to an Interior Ministry official.
The Iraqi immigration minister, Abdul-Samad Sultan, said that more than 300,000 Iraqis have fled their homes since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, the Associated Press reported. Half of them left after the February bombing of a sacred Shiite shrine in Samarra set off cascades of sectarian violence.
He estimated that about 890,000 Iraqis have moved to Jordan, Iran and Syria since 2003, after the U.S.-led invasion toppled the government of Saddam Hussein.
Meanwhile, the U.S. military reported that a joint U.S. and Iraqi patrol killed 11 militants Monday evening in a clash in the southern Shiite city of Diwaniya, a stronghold of the Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and his militia, the Mahdi Army.
Abdul Razzaq al-Nedawi, the head of al-Sadr's office in Diwaniya, insisted no Mahdi Army members were killed in Monday's clash. He said it was provoked by U.S. and Iraqi troops.
The Iraqi defense ministry issued a statement denying the patrol had raided the mosque and said militants had opened fire on the soldiers.
The military announced the death of an U.S. soldier in Tikrit on Sunday from a roadside bomb.