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May 14th, 2010


Iraqis Fear New Cycle of Violence

Al-Qaida unleashes campaign, vows ‘dark days soaked in blood’

Image: Funeral in Baghdad
A man grieves as the coffin of a relative killed in a bombing is taken for burial in the Shiite city of Najaf, south of Baghdad on Tuesday, May 11, 2010. (Photo credit: Alaa Al-Marjani / AP)

By Rebecca Santana

May 14, 2010

BAGHDAD — Many Iraqis are increasingly uneasy that a wave of bombings and shootings may revive all-out sectarian warfare that ravaged the country several years ago. In Baghdad and other cities, some are falling back into old cautionary habits — going outside only when necessary and avoiding busy markets and other crowded places. …

On Friday, al-Qaida in Iraq warned Shiites in an announcement that “dark days soaked with blood” lie ahead with a new campaign of violence yet to come.

Hours later, a bomb went off outside a mosque south of Baghdad, wounding 20 people, police said. Ten people were also killed in the northern city of Tal Afar by suicide bombers near a soccer field. Earlier this week, 119 people were killed across the country on Monday, and a botched car bombing killed nine people in Baghdad’s Sadr City on Wednesday.

Such attacks — many targeting Shiites — appear designed to provoke Shiite groups such as followers of anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr to respond in kind. …

In 2006, Shiites and Sunnis largely relied on insurgent groups and militias to protect their neighborhoods because Iraqi security forces and U.S. troops were largely unable to do so. Eventually neighborhoods were simply walled off with large concrete blast walls that crisscrossed the city and kept warring factions apart. Most of the walls were later dismantled when major violence abated. …

To be sure, the situation today is much different than it was in 2006 or 2007 when death squads would raid neighborhoods, dump bodies on the street or leave a bullet on someone’s doorstep as a warning that they should move to a different neighborhood.

From January through May 13, a total of 1,164 Iraqis were killed, according to a count by The Associated Press. That compares to 3,608 Iraqis killed during the same period in 2006. …

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Related report

Ten killed by car bomb in northern Iraq (AP, May 14, 2010) — Three suicide bombers blew themselves up at a sports field in a predominantly Shiite town in northern Iraq on Friday, killing at least 10 people and wounding another 120, police and hospital officials said. The attack took place during a soccer game Friday evening in the town of Tal Afar, located between the Syrian border and the volatile city of Mosul. … Full story

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Related reports on this site

Image: Men carry a victim injured in one of a series of parked car bombs in the Shiite stronghold of Sadr City
Men carry a victim injured in one of a series of parked car bombs in the Shiite stronghold of Sadr City on Friday, April 23, 2010. (Photo credit: Karim Kadim / AP)

Cascade of Violence in Iraq (May 10, 2010)

Iraq Election Turmoil (April 26, 2010)

Bloody Easter in Baghdad (April 4, 2010)

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FROM THE ARCHIVES: One Year Ago — May 14, 2009

Bachmann Liberal Love-Affair

One-year retrospective: One year ago today, I featured five reasons liberals love Michele Bachmann, the only politician — with the possible exception of North Korea’s Kim Jong-il — who flaunts universal, all-encompassing expertise that including such disparate specialties as theology, science, chemistry, finance, world affairs, and even sexual dysfunction.





10 Responses to “‘Dark Days Soaked With Blood’”
  1. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Iraq Election Violence Continues Says:

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  2. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Iraq Civilian Deaths 2-Year High Says:

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  3. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Wave of Bombings Across Iraq Says:

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  4. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Twin Blasts Rip Through Baghdad Says:

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  5. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Bloodshed in Baghdad Says:

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  10. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Biggest One-Day Loss of Life in Iraq for U.S. Military in 2 Years Says:

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