Sunday, February 25, 2007

Just another day in the life and death of Iraq XLI

By Michael J.W. Stickings

From the BBC:

At least 42 people have been killed in a bomb attack near a Sunni mosque, hours after Iraq's PM hailed a reduction in sectarian killings.

A truck bomb exploded as worshippers left the mosque in Habbaniyah, 50 miles west of Baghdad, police said.

As well as those killed, more than 60 people were hurt, reports said.

Earlier, Iraqi PM Nouri Maliki said sectarian killings and kidnappings had fallen in the wake of a new Baghdad security plan, launched 10 days ago.

Maliki's an idiot -- have we established that yet? Besides, what does he care if Sunnis kill Sunnis? As long as the Shiites -- and their power in post-Saddam Iraq -- are protected. As I've said before, he only supports Bush's surge to the extent that it allows him to secure his own sectarian authority in Baghdad. Whatever the motives of the U.S., Maliki's are decidedly anti-Sunni and self-aggrandizing (and pro-Sadr).

As for the attack itself, here's The Washington Post:

The bombing was the first in recent months to kill dozens of civilians in a predominantly Sunni area. But witnesses said that unlike other large attacks, this one did not appear to have been driven by sectarian rivalries -- Shiite militias are not known to be active in the area -- but rather was probably carried out as a warning from Sunni extremists to Sunnis who support the U.S.-backed Iraqi government.

As if there isn't enough inter-sectarian violence, there is also intra-sectarian violence. Indeed -- from the Post again -- the attack "carried the hallmarks of an increasingly bloody struggle for control of Anbar province -- a hotbed of anti-U.S. guerrillas since the uprising in Fallujah in 2004 that galvanized the insurgency".

To call Iraq a complex mess is an understatement.

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