RE: Blood Bath in Iraq Continues
While the Republicans pretend success in Iraq, The Iraq Civil War continues:
At least 29 dead in Iraq attacks
Police find 26 corpses near city of Qaim
Wednesday, March 9, 2005 Posted: 7:09 AM EST (1209 GMT)
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Violence flared anew in Iraq on Wednesday, with attacks in Baghdad killing three while 26 people were found shot to death near the western city of Qaim.
The 26 bodies were found in the village of al-Rumana in western Iraq near the Iraq-Syria border.
According to Qaim hospital director Dr. Hamdi al-Aloussi, all of the victims were shot in the forehead. Police said they think the victims were killed four days ago.
The bodies were found around 6 p.m. (10 a.m. ET Tuesday) before being brought to nearby Qaim. A woman's body was among the dead, but police had not identified the other bodies.
Insurgents in Iraq have targeted anyone perceived as cooperating with the interim government or multinational forces.
In central Baghdad, meanwhile, a suicide bomber driving a garbage truck detonated early Wednesday near the Ministry of Agriculture, killing two people and wounding 22 others, emergency police said. The bomber also died in the attack.
According to police, the truck was approaching the hotel through a courtyard when ministry security officers became suspicious and opened fire on it, causing it to detonate.
Iraqi police said they believe the truck was using the open courtyard to approach the hotel without passing through hotel security checkpoints.
The attack took place around 6:30 a.m. (10:30 p.m. ET Tuesday), leaving a massive crater and littering the area with burning vehicles. At least 40 cars belonging to the Ministry of Agriculture were damaged.
Following the massive explosion, flames and a large plume of black smoke rose above the blast site as U.S. army helicopters circled overhead.
On Tuesday, 15 beheaded bodies were found in a vacated military warehouse, an officer from the Iraqi emergency police services said.
The Iraqi army discovered the unidentified bodies, the officer said. The warehouse is on the road from Latifya to Karbala, south of Baghdad. It has not yet been determined when the people were killed.
In southern Baghdad, the bodies of two people thought to be working with U.S. forces were found stuffed in barrels Tuesday night, a police official said.
The official said the two -- Sajed Radi Ali and Ali Kadhem Mohammed -- were believed to have been working for the multinational forces at a nearby base.
The dead men were in separate barrels found in the Canal Street area, he said, and with each body was a note that said: "He was a traitor working with the Americans, so he was to be killed."
Also in Baghdad, gunmen early Wednesday opened fire on a minibus carrying employees to work, killing one and wounding three others, according to Iraqi Police Emergency Services.
The workers, employed by a Kuwaiti company, came under small-arms fire in the Zayuna neighborhood at around 7:30 a.m. (11:30 p.m. ET Tuesday). They were headed to a job site in Abu Ghraib.
U.S. investigates Italian, Bulgarian deaths
The U.S. military said Tuesday it has launched two investigations after the recent shooting deaths of an Italian security agent and a Bulgarian soldier.
A top U.S. commander said the timing of the fatal incidents is troubling.
On Friday, U.S. troops at a Baghdad checkpoint fired on a car carrying an Italian journalist -- newly freed hostage Giuliana Sgrena -- and Italian security agent Nicola Calipari, wounding Sgrena and killing Calipari.
The U.S. military initially said the car carrying Sgrena was rapidly approaching the checkpoint and ignored repeated warnings to stop.
Italian Foreign Minister Gianfranco Fini, while saying Tuesday that the actions were a tragic mistake, disputed the military's account based on the driver's version of the incident. Fini demanded a thorough investigation. (Full story)
Brig. Gen. Peter Vangjel has been named to head the probe, in which Italian officials were invited to take part, the military said.
The investigation is expected to take three to four weeks, the military said.
A little more than an hour before that incident, Jr. Sgt. Gardi Gardev died in what the Bulgarian government said a preliminary investigation showed was probably the result of "friendly fire."
"[The multinational force] values greatly our partnership with Bulgaria in helping the Iraqis achieve democracy," the U.S. military said. "We are committed to working with our Bulgarian partners to determine the cause" of the death.
The incident took place Friday night 37 miles southeast of Diwaniya, about 100 miles southeast of Baghdad.
Bulgarian Defense Minister Nikolay Svinarov said Gardev died when his patrol, which had fired warning shots to stop an Iraqi civilian car, received heavy fire from the direction of a U.S. Army communications facility about 165 yards away.
"The investigation results and the information we have as now give us enough reason to believe that that tragic death of Jr. Sgt. Gardev is a result of a friendly fire," Svinarov said.
Svinarov said the Bulgarian chief of staff, Gen. Nikola Kolev, had sent a letter to his American counterpart, Gen. Richard Myers, requesting a full investigation "aimed at clarifying all details and avoiding such incidents for the future."
Eight Bulgarians have been killed in the war.
Gen. George W. Casey, commanding general of the multinational force, said at a press briefing in Washington that "obviously, the timing gave me cause for discomfort. I mean, it's another unfortunate incident."
"Both the Bulgarians and us are looking into exactly what happened," he said.
"Every time there is an incident like this, we look at it, we look at the procedures that were followed, we use those to adapt our procedures," he said. "But, obviously, two things coming right on the heels of each other was troublesome."
Interior Ministry official slain
Gunmen early Tuesday killed a top official with Iraq's Interior Ministry as he was leaving his home in western Baghdad, Iraqi police said.
The attack took place at around 7:30 a.m. (11:30 p.m. ET Monday) in the Ghaziliya district. Shots from the four gunmen struck the official in the head and stomach.
Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's terror group, Al Qaeda in Iraq, purportedly claimed responsibility in an Internet statement for the killing of Gen. Ghazi Mohammed Issa, the deputy chief of the ministry's immigration office, according to The Associated Press. The claim could not be confirmed.
Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.
-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address