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Aug 7th, 2009

Iraq Blasts Hit Shiite Mosque, Pilgrims; 37 Killed

Dozens injured, death toll expected to rise as sectarian violence swells

Image: Bombed bus
A policeman secures the scene of a roadside bomb blast that hit a minibus carrying Shiite pilgrims in Sadr City, in Baghdad, Iraq, on Friday, Aug. 7, 2009. (Photo credit: Karim Kadim / AP)

Aug. 7, 2009

BAGHDAD — A suicide car bomb devastated a Shiite mosque in northern Iraq, one of a series of attacks Friday that killed at least 37 Shiite pilgrims and worshippers, police and medical officials said.

The incidents are the latest in a series that have targeted Shiites, raising concerns that insurgents are stepping up attacks, hoping to re-ignite sectarian violence that nearly tore the country apart in 2006 and 2007. …

The deadliest blast occurred in Rasheediyah, north of Mosul, when a suicide car bomb struck a mosque, killing at least 30 people and trapping dozens more underneath the rubble, said a police official in Ninevah operations command.

The official said at least 88 were injured in the blast. Bodies were still being pulled from the rubble, the official said.

It was the second deadliest attack since U.S. forces withdrew from cities as part of a U.S.-Iraqi security pact that maps out the complete withdrawal of American troops by the end of 2011.

The attack occurred shortly after 1 p.m. as worshippers were leaving Friday prayers. The blast also severely damaged a dozen other buildings near the mosque, the official said.

In Baghdad, roadside bombs targeted pilgrims returning from the southern holy city of Karbala where hundreds of thousands of devout Shiites gathered to celebrate the birth of Mohammed al-Mahdi, the 12th Shiite imam, who disappeared in the ninth century. …

The first of three bombs exploded at about 9:10 a.m., targeting a minibus with pilgrims as it entered the Shiite slum of Sadr City, a police official said. The blast killed four pilgrims and wounded eight others, the official said. The causalities were confirmed by a medical official.

A short time later, two near simultaneous explosions near the Shaab football stadium in eastern Baghdad killed three pilgrims as they were walking home to Sadr City, said another police official.

Thirteen pilgrims also were wounded in the two blasts, which occurred less than half a mile apart, the official said. …

The blasts came a day after a roadside bomb targeted pilgrims on their way to Karbala, killing one and wounding four others.

Last Friday, a string of bombings targeted Shiite mosques in the Baghdad area during prayers, killing at least 29 people. …


Related report

Major attacks in Iraq since Jan. 1, 2009



3 U.K. Troops, 1 American Killed in Afghanistan

Aug. 7, 2009

KABUL — Three British paratroopers and an American service member were killed in attacks in Afghanistan’s south and east, officials said Friday, raising the number of international troops slain in the first week of August to 19.

The pace of Western casualties could make August the deadliest month for U.S. and allied forces in Afghanistan since the start of the nearly eight-year war.

NATO and the British government said the paratroopers’ armored vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb during a patrol with Afghan forces north of Lashkar Gah in the southern province of Helmand on Thursday. Taliban insurgents then opened fire. The soldiers fired back but three were killed and one was critically wounded, officials said.

NATO also said an American service member was killed in an attack on a convoy Friday morning in eastern Afghanistan. The alliance did not immediately provide further details.

Attacks killed at least 75 troops from the U.S. and other international military forces in July, the highest death toll for a single month since the war began in 2001, according to military reports. …

NATO says more troops needed

Meanwhile, NATO’s new secretary-general said the alliance needs more troops in Afghanistan if its mission is to be successful.

Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told the BBC from Afghanistan that NATO progress in fighting the Taliban insurgents in southern Afghanistan this summer has come because troop levels in the region have increased. …

Afghan officials said roadside bombs killed five policemen and an Afghan guard in the south, where thousands of new U.S. and British forces are trying to secure roads and population centers ahead of the election.

Dramatic increase in roadside bombings

The insurgents have dramatically increased their use of roadside bombs against foreign and Afghan forces.

The policemen were killed when their vehicle hit a buried bomb in Kandahar’s Arghandab district late Thursday, said Abdul Jabar, the district chief.

Another blast Friday in Kandahar’s Zhari district killed an Afghan guard escorting a NATO supply convoy, said Niaz Mohammad Sarhadi, a local official. Four other guards were wounded, he said.

An airstrike in Zabul, another southern province, killed three suspected militants who were planting a bomb on a road Thursday, said Ghulam Jelani Farahi, Zabul’s deputy provincial police chief.



Death of Taliban chief a blow to extremists (AP via NBC News, Aug. 7, 2009) — Pakistan’s Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud was killed by a CIA missile strike, a militant commander confirmed Friday — a severe blow to extremists threatening the stability of this nuclear-armed nation and a possible boost to U.S.-Pakistani cooperation in fighting insurgents who wreak havoc along the Afghan border. … Full story

Baitullah Mehsud

8/8/09 Update

Pakistan Taliban leaders death disputed (, Aug. 8, 2009) – Senior Taliban commanders denied that their leader, Baitullah Mehsud, had been killed in a CIA missile strike, while conflicting reports emerged late Saturday of a clash between rival Taliban factions during a meeting to choose a successor. … Full story


FROM THE ARCHIVES: One Year Ago Today — August 7, 2008

On the Campaign Trail: Day 24

One year ago today, on the 24th day of my campaign against U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann for the Republican nomination as House of Representatives candidate in Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District, I announced the August 9 kick-off of my walking tour through the district from Freeport in the northwestern corner of the Sixth District to Stillwater in the southeast on the Wisconsin border. Also, in an effort to help draw attention to the sacrifice of National Guard citizen soldiers serving in Iraq and the families they leave behind, I featured Part 5 of the Associated Press series, “The Longest Deployment” (the story of the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, Minnesota National Guard and its tour of duty in Iraq).

4 Responses to “Paroxysm of Violence in Iraq”
  1. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Sustained Iraqi Insurgency Says:

    […] Paroxysm of Violence in Iraq (Aug. 7, 2009) […]

  2. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Massive Bomb Attack on Iraq Govt Says:

    […] Aug. 7, 2009 — A suicide truck bomb targets a Shiite mosque in a northern suburb of Mosul, Iraq, flattening the mosque and killing at least 44 people. The attack also injures more than 200 people. Bombings against Shiite pilgrims in Baghdad kill seven. […]

  3. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Somali Terror Suspects Indicted Says:

    […] Paroxysm of Violence in Iraq […]

  4. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Darkest Day in Afghanistan War Says:

    […] Paroxysm of Violence in Iraq […]

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