Blood Bath Continues in Iraq
Remember how only a few weeks ago we broke the 1,000 mark on casualities in Iraq? It hit 1,090 today, and the month of October is just half over. In only the past three days, fifteen soldiers have been killed, and many more gravely wounded. Our Colonial Viceroy compound, "The Green Zone" has now been penetrated, and our civilian workers are now dying in suicide bomb attacks as well. This morning, five more GIs died in this senseless conflict in more senseless violence. In the past few weeks car bombs killed hundreds of Iraqis, hostages were beheaded, officials were assassinated and now troops are mutining over the senseless waste of their lives as Iraq is collapses in violence. Our President says "were making progress in Iraq". Here's progress:
Five U.S. Soldiers Die in Attacks
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- The holy Muslim month of Ramadan got off to an uneasy start Saturday as an Iraqi official was assassinated in Kirkuk, a U.S. soldier was killed in Mosul, a hospital worker died in a mortar attack and a police officer was killed.
Maj. Gen. Anwar Mohammed Amin, commander of the Iraqi National Guard of Kirkuk, said unknown gunmen assassinated Gafour Hakeem, head of the management department in the Directorate of Education in Kirkuk, Saturday morning.
Hakeem was driving his car with his two children in the al-Ts'een district, on his way to the children's schools when three gunmen stopped his car, pulled him from it, and shot him in front of his children, Amin said.
In Mosul, a soldier assigned to Task Force Olympia died following a car bombing attack Friday on a military convoy in east central Mosul, the U.S. military said.
The death brings to 1,090 the number of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq.
In Baghdad, two mortar shells exploded. One shell killed a medic when it exploded in the front yard of Ibn al-Bitar hospital Saturday morning, an Iraqi official said.
A few blocks away another mortar shell exploded in the front yard of the Melia-Mansour Hotel at 8:45 a.m., Col. Adnan Abdul Rahman, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry told CNN.
Separately, an Iraqi police officer was killed and another police officer wounded when insurgents threw a hand grenade at their police vehicle when they were on duty in al-Amil neighborhood, southwest of Baghdad, on Saturday morning.
In addition, five churches in four neighborhoods were damaged by explosions, the Iraqi Interior ministry said.
No injuries were reported, Rahman said.
He said the blasts were caused by improvised explosive devices and began at 4:20 a.m. local time and ended at 6 a.m. local time.
An Iraqi police official said two Iraqi police officers were wounded along with two civilians when two mortar rounds exploded on Abu Graib checkpoint in the western part of Baghdad Sunday just before noon.
Iraqi and U.S. officials have been predicting an upsurge in violence following the beginning of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan on Friday.
The Army is investigating reports that reservists in a supply unit refused to go on a convoy mission, the military said Friday. The reservists are from the 343rd Quartermaster Company, based in Rock Hill, South Carolina, which delivers food and water in combat zones. (Full story)
The group headed by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, which claimed responsibility for dozens of deadly attacks in Iraq, was designated by the U.S. government Friday as a terrorist organization. The State Department has considered Zarqawi himself a threat for some time. (Full story)
A car bomb detonated in the southern Baghdad neighborhood of al-Dura Friday, killing 10 Iraqi civilians, officials said. The car, believed to have carried 300 pounds of explosives, targeted an Iraqi police patrol. The powerful blast left an 18-by-12-foot crater nearly 5 feet deep. Iraqi officials said four police officers and nine civilians were wounded.