A coordinated attack on seven American soldiers and an Iraqi Army interpreter Saturday morning south of Baghdad left five of them dead and three missing, the United States military said.
The attack occurred near Mahmudiya, a rural area that is a stronghold of militants in Al Qaeda, and military officials said they were not sure if the interpreter was among the dead. That suggested that the five bodies found at the site of the attack, near two burned vehicles, were unrecognizable.
The above is from Damien Cave's "5 Killed and 3 Missing in Attack on American Patrol South of Baghdad." If you think that's front page news (it was noted in yesterday morning's entry), you are wrong. The front page of this morning's New York Times is about Afghanistan, the surprising only to the stupid news that government funding religion doesn't work, abortion in China, Patrick Healy on Hillary Clinton and a jockey from the Kentucky Derby. An attack that kills five? A6. Now this was known yesterday morning. There's no excuse for this. There really never was even with the lame nonsense about needing to get the Sunday edition to bed early. But in this day and age when the printer of a paer is vastly differnt (and quicker) from the days of the old printing press, there is no excuse for it. Since Cave's filed his report, the US military says the interpreter was among the five killed. (Cave also notes Saturday violence including 17 corpses discovered in Baghdad.)
Thousands of American troops searched on Sunday for three U.S. soldiers missing in Iraq after an ambush in which al Qaeda said it seized "crusader" forces, while a suicide bomber killed 50 people in the Kurdish north.
From Leila Fadel's "Insurgent Attack Leaves Five Americans Dead, Three Missing" (McClatchy Newspapers) reporting on Saturday:
Saturday's incident occurred at 4:44 a.m., when a nearby unit heard a powerful explosion. Minutes later, an unmanned drone spotted two vehicles in flames. A quick response team was sent to the scene, arrived at 5:40 a.m. and found five men dead, perhaps from the explosion or from small arms fire, but couldn't account for three people. The military wouldn't confirm if the Iraqi translator was among the dead.
The five deaths come as Sunni insurgents try a new tactic in an apparent effort to isolate and divide Iraq's capital. In the past month, car bombs have targeted at least five bridges, one underground tunnel in Baghdad and another west of Fallujah in Sunni-dominated Anbar province.
And US service members aren't the only ones missing in Iraq. From Shashank Bengali's "Disappeared without a trace: over 10,000 Iraqis" (McClatchy Newspapers):
When her heart is heaviest, Sahira Kereem tries to think of the little things her husband did that annoyed her. She remembers times when she suggested they visit her parents, and he just rolled his eyes.
The mental trick rarely brings her comfort. The fact remains that Riyadh Juma Saleh, her husband of nearly 15 years, went missing one day nearly three years ago and Kareem has no idea what became of him.
Over the past four years, as sectarian kidnappings and killings have gripped Iraq and U.S. forces have arrested untold numbers in an effort to pacify the country, tens of thousands of Iraqis have vanished, often in circumstances as baffling as that of Kereem's husband, a Shiite Muslim father of three.
There's no accurate count of the missing since the war began. Iraqi human rights groups put the figure at 15,000 or more, while government officials say 40 to 60 people disappeared each day throughout the country for much of last year, a rate equal to at least 14,600 in one year.
What happened to them is a frustrating mystery that compounds Iraq's overwhelming sense of chaos and anarchy. Are they dead? Were they kidnapped or killed in some mass bombing? Is the Iraqi government or some militia group holding them? Were they taken prisoner by the United States, which is holding 19,000 Iraqis at its two main detention centers, at Camp Cropper and Camp Bucca?
New content at The Third Estate Sunday Review:
Truest statement of the week
A Note to Our Readers
Editorial: The silence that harms
TV: The 'boys' are back in town
A Mother's Day Message From Bully Mama
Pencil it in
Robert Knight's "The Knight Report"
Also, today on RadioNation with Laura Flanders (7:00 pm to 10:00 pm EST over Air America Radio airwaves, via XM satellite radio and via online streaming):
Heroes, anti-heroes and double-standards on terrorism: Cuba expert and journalist ANN LOUISE BARDACH on the release of the West's most wanted terrorist. Then FBI agent-turned-whistleblower MIKE GERMAN and ANGELICA SALAS of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles on home-grown groups targeting immigrants let go easy. And a return visit to some of our favorite Blue Grit grassroots heroes. This week, BOB FULKERSON and company from the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada.
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