Insurgents step up attacks on Iraqi security forces as U.S. troops withdraw
Suicide bomb kills at least 60 in Iraq (NBC Nightly News, Jan. 18, 2011) – In the deadliest attack in Iraq in months, a suicide bomb targeting police recruits in Tikrit killed at least 60 people and wounded 150 more. NBC’s Brian Williams reports. (00:16)
Jan. 18, 2011
BAGHDAD — A suicide bomber blew himself up in a crowd of police recruits on Tuesday, killing at least 60 people and undercutting Iraqi security efforts as the nation struggles to show it can protect itself without foreign help.
The death toll was still rising hours after police said the bomber joined hundreds of waiting recruits and detonated his explosives-packed vest outside the police station in Saddam Hussein’s hometown of Tikrit, some 80 miles north of Baghdad.
The attack starkly displayed the Iraqi forces’ failure to plug even the most obvious holes in their security as the U.S. military prepares to withdraw from Iraq at the year’s end. …
Ammar Yousef, head of Salahuddin provincial council said 62 people were killed, and 120 were wounded. …
A similar strike on an Iraqi recruitment center and army headquarters in central Baghdad last August left 61 dead and 125 wounded [link added] in what was one of the deadliest attacks of the summer [Aug. 17, 2010]. Two weeks later [on Sept. 5, 2010], militants attacked the same building again, detonating a car bomb and trying to shoot their way in, killing eight and wounding 29 [link added].
Tuesday’s attack was Iraq’s deadliest since early November, when a series of bombings on mostly Shiite neighborhoods killed 76 across Baghdad [link added], and followed a weekslong lull that saw mostly small-scale bombings and shootings instead of spectacular violence. …
Salahuddin province continues to suffer frequent attacks by suspected Sunni Islamist insurgents opposed to the Shiite-led authorities in Baghdad. Tikrit is primarily Sunni.
Insurgents have stepped up their assaults on Iraqi police and troops since U.S. forces formally ended combat operations last August ahead of a full withdrawal this year. …
Iraqi police again targeted by attacker, 12 killed (AP, Reuters, Jan. 19, 2011) — A suicide bomber driving an ambulance killed 12 people and wounded more than 50 in an attack on an Iraqi police training center in Baqouba, 35 miles northeast of Baghdad in the volatile Diyala province, toppling a building on the headquarters’ grounds. … Full story
Iraq suicide bombings kill at least 50 (NBC Nightly News, Jan. 20, 2011) – Car bombs killed struck Shiite pilgrims south of Baghdad Thursday in a third straight day of attacks across Iraq. NBCs Brian Williams reports. (00:13)
Bombs kill at least 50 along pilgrim route to Shiite holy city of Karbala (AP, Reuters, Jan. 20, 2011) – At least 50 people have been killed in bombings targeting pilgrims headed to the Shiite holy city of Karbala for rituals. The death toll was continuing to rise after the Thursday afternoon bombings. As many as 175 people were believed to be wounded. The blasts occurred amid a surge in suicide bombings by suspected Sunni Islamist insurgents in recent days. … Full story
Flurry of deadly bombs strikes Baghdad (AP, Jan. 23, 2011) — A series of bombs in and around the Iraqi capital killed 10. The three-hour drumbeat of explosions began around 7 a.m. in Baghdad’s rush hour at the start of the local workweek. Besides the dead, 34 people were wounded. The attacks appeared to involve roadside bombs, suicide bombers and car bombs. Full story
Related reports on this site
A man kisses the body of a government-backed Sunni militia member laid on the ground of a hospital yard in the town of Mahmoudiyah, south of Baghdad, on Sunday, July 18, 2010 after a deadly blast. (Photo credit: Reuters)
Bloodshed in Baghdad (Nov. 2, 2010)
Surge in Iraq Green Zone Attacks (Sept. 29, 2010)
Twin Blasts Rip Through Baghdad (Sept. 19, 2010)
Wave of Bombings Across Iraq (Aug. 26, 2010)
Horrific Baghdad Bombing (Aug. 18, 2010)
Iraq Civilian Deaths at 2-Year High (Aug. 1, 2010)
Iraq Security Remains Fragile (July 22, 2010)
Mayhem in Baghdad (July 18, 2010)
Iraq Election Violence Continues (June 20, 2010)
Explosion Rocks Iraqi Market (May 21, 2010)
‘Dark Days Soaked With Blood’ (May 14, 2010)
Cascade of Violence in Iraq (May 10, 2010)
Iraq Election Turmoil (April 26, 2010)
Bloody Easter in Baghdad (April 4, 2010)
Iraq Election Violence (March 8, 2010)
Iraq Mass Casualty Bombing (Feb. 1, 2010)
Triple Bombing Rocks Baghdad (Jan. 25, 2010)
FROM THE ARCHIVES: One Year Ago — January 18, 2010
One year ago today, I reported that Baitullah Mehsud, commander of the Pakistani Taliban until he was killed in a U.S. missile strike in August 2009, had said in March 2009 that his group was planning an attack on the White House that would “amaze” the world. In that regard, it’s notable that Osama bin Laden reportedly told planner Ramzi Binalshibh that he preferred the White House over the Capitol as a target in the attacks of 9/11. Hence, it must be assumed that the White House remains at the top of al-Qaida’s high-value target list.
FROM THE ARCHIVES: Two Years Ago — January 18, 2009
The Best and Worst of Bush
Photo gallery of memorable moments from a controversial presidency
Two years ago today, on Jan. 18, 2009, I examined how George W. Bush might restore his legacy upon leaving office in a climate where 98 percent of historians view his tenure as a failure and only 13 percent of Americans believe he helped solve the country’s problems.
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