On Saturday, there was a truck bombing in Armili which is in the Salaheddin province to the north of the capital. Though other cities in the province, such as Tikrit, had been the site of large scale violence, Saturday's bombing is thought to be the first such event for Armili.
Early reports of the bombing put the toll at 115 and noted it would most likely climb. Sunday morning the New York Times ran with 105 and you can always depend on the count to, in fact drop, when the Times reports. Sudarsan Raghavan (Washington Post) reported Sunday (front page) that the count was at least 115 with city officials putting it as high as 150. In this morning's Los Angeles Times, Molly Hennessy-Fiske notes that the death toll from the Saturday bombing has climbed to at least 150.
In today's New York Times, Stephen Farrell notes:
The death toll from a suicide truck bombing in a remote village in northern Iraq rose to around 150 on Sunday, making it one of the deadliest single bombings, if not the deadliest, since the 2003 invasion.
The attack, in the impoverished Shiite Turkmen village of Amerli, 100 miles north of Baghdad in Salahuddin Province, has highlighted fears that Sunni insurgents facing military crackdowns in Baghdad and Diyala Province are simply directing their attacks to areas outside the concentration of American troops.
Meanwhile, Robert H. Reid (AP) reports on the latest 'answer' or is a 'plan' -- surely it's strategy for Iraq: citizens should begin arming themselves -- according to both Shi'ite and Sunni politicians.
In Australia, Stan Powell (The Australian) addresses a different sort of self-checkout, the governmental kind:
USUALLY very keen to see himself in the media, the Defence Minister went conspicuously AWOL in China on the weekend. In hiding after his spectacular "Iraq invasion for oil" gaffe last week, Brendan Nelson hunkered down in the Forbidden City for official talks with his Chinese counterparts.
He cancelled an early morning appearance on the ABC TV's Insiders program yesterday, leaving Peter Costello to man the ramparts for the Government. Costello handled the fusillade of questions from Barrie Cassidy with customary ease. "We're all interested in the price at the petrol pump but Australian soldiers don't risk their lives for petrol prices," the Treasurer volunteered, in a line which might have served as a sharp backhander for the now all-but invisible Defence Minister.
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