Iraqi army soldiers secure the scene of a suicide car bomb in Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, April 18, 2011. Suicide bombers detonated two explosives-packed cars Monday outside Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone, killing and wounding several of people, police said. (Photo credit: AP)
By Hamid Ahmed
April 18, 2011
BAGHDAD — Suicide bombers detonated two explosives-packed cars Monday outside Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone, killing at least nine people and wounding 23, officials said.
The blasts marked the start of a violent day in the Iraqi capital, where two more bombings and a jewelry heist left three more dead and 15 wounded.
The twin suicide car bombs rattled windows across Baghdad shortly after 8 a.m. The cars blew up just outside a security checkpoint on a heavily traveled road leading into the Green Zone from Baghdad’s international airport. …
Baghdad military spokesman Maj. Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi said the bombers appeared to be targeting the motorcades of two senior government officials — one from the military, the other from the Cabinet — who were headed to work. …
Meanwhile, protests in the northern Iraqi city of Sulaimaniyah turned violent as 90 people were wounded in clashes between anti-government demonstrators and riot police. Nine protesters were hit by bullets after police shot in the air to disperse the crowd of more than 1,000, said Sulaimaniyah health director Dr. Rekwat Hama Rasheed said.
Additionally, 48 people — including 42 policemen — were hurt by protesters who hurled stones at security forces, Rasheed said.
Gunmen kill Iraqi family of 4 in Baghdad home (AP, April 17, 2011) — Hours after Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki met with U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, telling him Iraq’s security forces can protect the country after the planned withdrawal of 46,000 U.S. troops by the end of the year, gunmen stormed the home of a Shiite family living in a mostly Sunni neighborhood of Baghdad and killed all four family members, including a 16-year-old boy, a 14-year-old girl, and their parents. … Full story
Reader comment: Having served two tours in Saudi Arabia/Iraq and with my stepson on his third tour there, I can state with conviction that the ISF [Iraqi Security Forces] is a bad joke, as riddled with incompetence and corruption as the gov’t itself. The country remains a tinderbox, and I give it a year after our withdrawal before they’re in full scale civil war, with Iran, Syria and Al Queada [sic] waiting in the wings to fill the giant sucking sound of the power vacuum that will follow. This has been an eight year exercise in futility, a waste of billions of dollars and thousands of lives. A democratic Iraq? Yeah, right.
Investigators inspect the site of a bomb attack in Hillah, 60 miles south of Baghdad, on Thursday, May 5, 2011. (Photo credit: Reuters)
The Associated Press and Reuters via MSNBC.com
May 5, 2011
BAGHDAD — A suicide car bomber crashed his vehicle into a barrier outside a police building in central Iraq on Thursday, killing 20 policemen and wounding dozens more, an official said.
The blast is the second significant attack in Iraq since the death of Osama bin Laden Monday at the hands of a U.S. commando team in Pakistan. Iraqis have been on edge, waiting for al-Qaida’s branch in Iraq to strike back as a way to demonstrate it is still dangerous. …
A police official said the bomber hit when the officers were assembling in a square in front of the police building for a shift change in the city of Hillah, about 60 miles south of the capital Baghdad.
A member of the Hillah city council, Mahmoud al-Murshidi, who spoke to The Associated Press from the hospital, said 20 were killed and 43 people were wounded in the bombing. He said all the casualties were policemen. …
The fact that the bomber was able to wipe out so many policemen in one blast immediately raised questions about security at the building. …
Hillah is a predominantly Shiite city but its proximity to the Triangle of Death — a mainly Sunni area that at one time was one of the most dangerous in the country — has made it a frequent target of Sunni extremists. …
On Tuesday, a car bomb tore through a cafe in Baghdad packed with young men watching a soccer match on TV, killing at least 16 people.
Most of the dead and wounded in the cafe were young people. The blast occurred in a Shiite enclave in the former insurgent stronghold of Dora, an area in southwestern Baghdad that saw some of the fiercest fighting of the Iraq conflict. …
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Iraq: Many Dead in Tikrit (March 29, 2011)
Near-Miss for U.S. Patrol in Iraq (March 6, 2011)
Another War Like Iraq ‘Nuts’ (Feb. 26, 2011)
Iraq: Slaughter in Samarra (Feb. 12, 2011)
Iraq Violence Persists (Feb. 9, 2011)
Wholesale Slaughter in Iraq (Jan. 18, 2011)
Insurgents Coming Back in Iraq (Dec. 5, 2010)
Rivers of Christian Blood in Iraq (Nov. 3, 2010)
Catholic Hostages Killed in Iraq (Oct. 31, 2010)
Baghdad Military Headquarters Attack (Sept. 5, 2010)
Horrific Baghdad Bombing (Aug. 18, 2010)
Iraq Civilian Deaths at 2-Year High (Aug. 1, 2010)
Baghdad Central Bank Attack (June 17, 2010)
Quarter Million Dead, Wounded in Iraq (Oct. 14, 2009)
Sustained Iraqi Insurgency (Aug. 12, 2009)
Deadly June for Iraqis (July 5, 2009)
Iraq: May Deadliest in 8 Months (May 29, 2009)
Iraq Exit Will Be Long and Hard (March 7, 2009)
FROM THE ARCHIVES: One Year Ago — April 18, 2010
U.S. Marines and Afghan troops are fighting a resurgent Taliban as they struggle to maintain security in the canal-laced farming region of Afghanistan’s Helmand province. View photo gallery. (Photo credit: Andrea Bruce / The Washington Post)
One year ago today, I reported that the Taliban were moving fighters into Kandahar, planting bombs, and plotting attacks as NATO and Afghan forces prepare for a summer offensive.
FROM THE ARCHIVES: Two Years Ago — April 18, 2009
Vital Signs of a Warming World
The science, impacts and scenarios of climate shifts
Two years ago today, on April 18, 2009, I reported that Congress would begin hearings on an energy and global warming bill that could revolutionize how the United States produces and uses energy, in an effort to reduce pollution said to be responsible for heating up the planet.
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