Friday, June 08, 2007

199 killed in Baghdad during the first week of June

The double bombing on Thursday occurred in Rabia, a town about 75 miles northwest of Mosul, near the Syrian border. The blasts destroyed at least one building and damaged many more. Blood and concrete were scattered across the streets.
Captain Zebari said the second bomb consisted of 500 pounds of explosives packed into a minibus. It detonated minutes after a suicide bomber tried to get into the police station and blew himself up when officers discovered his intent.
"This is a new tactic for us," Captain Zebari said, "to start with one explosion and then have the second bigger than the first."

The above is from Damien Cave's "Bombs and Gunmen in Iraq Kill at Least 22 and Wound 55" in this morning's New York Times. Lloyd notes John Ward Anderson's "Suicide Attacks, Bombings Kill Dozens in Iraq" (Washington Post) which also takes a look at Thursday's violence including:

Gunmen also shot three professors from Islamic University in Baghdad, killing two and wounding one, and killed the head of the Education Ministry's department of research and development as he drove to work, police said.
[. . .]
At least 211 university professors and 104 officials from the ministry have been assassinated in Iraq since the war started in March 2003, Khatib said. In addition, 91 professors have been kidnapped, and their fate is unknown, he said.

"He" is a spokesperson for the Education Ministry, Basil al-Khatib. And this comes as CNN reports that the first week of the month saw 199 people killed in Baghdad alone. As the violence continues, some in Congress take steps away from the Bully Boy. From Noam N. Levey's "2 GOP senators back troop reduction in Iraq" (Los Angeles Times):

In another sign that congressional Republicans are losing patience with the White House war strategy, two GOP senators Thursday got behind new legislation designed to encourage the Bush administration to reduce U.S. military involvement in Iraq.
Sens. Sam Brownback of Kansas and Gordon Smith of Oregon are cosponsoring a nonbinding resolution by Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.) that urges decentralizing the Iraqi government and creating semiautonomous regions for Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds. Biden has been championing the plan for more than a year.
That comes a day after five GOP senators signed on to separate legislation that would enact the recommendations of the bipartisan Iraq Study Group, which envisioned most U.S. combat troops coming home by early 2008.

But note:

Neither bill sets a firm deadline for withdrawing U.S. forces from Iraq, a key demand of antiwar Democrats, who have fought for months to force Republican lawmakers and the White House to accept such a plan.

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