more bodies everyday...
More Than 50 Bodies Found in Iraq River
Apr 20, 1:32 PM (ET)
By SAMEER N. YACOUB
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - The bodies of more than 50 people have been recovered from the Tigris River and have been identified, President Jalal Talabani said Wednesday. He said the bodies were believed to have been those of hostages seized in a region south of Baghdad earlier this month.
In a separate discovery, another 19 Iraqis were shot to death and left lined up against a bloodstained wall in a soccer stadium in the town of Haditha, about 140 miles northwest of Baghdad, an Iraqi reporter and residents said.
Talabani did not specify when or where the bodies were recovered from the Tigris. However, he gave the information in response to a question about the search for hostages reportedly seized from the area around Madain, 14 miles south of Baghdad.
Shiite leaders and government officials claimed last week that Sunni militants had abducted as many as 100 Shiite residents from the area and were threatening to kill them unless all Shiites left. But when Iraqi forces moved into the town of about 1,000 families over the weekend, they found no captives, and residents said they had seen no evidence anyone had been seized.
"Terrorists committed crimes there. It is not true to say there were no hostages. There were. They were killed, and they threw the bodies into the Tigris," Talabani said. "We have the full names of those who were killed and those criminals who committed these crimes."
In Haditha, taxi drivers Rauf Salih and Ousama Halim said they rushed to the stadium after hearing gunshots and found the bodies lined up against a wall. The reporter and other residents counted 19 bodies and said all appeared to have been shot.
Residents said they believed the victims - all men in civilian clothes - were soldiers abducted by insurgents as they headed home for a holiday marking the birthday of the prophet Muhammad.
The reporter did not see any military identification documents on the bodies and it was not possible to verify the claim, which may have been based on a previous incidents, including one in October when insurgents ambushed and executed about 50 unarmed Iraqi soldiers as they were heading home from a U.S. military training camp northeast of Baghdad.
U.S. and Iraqi military forces had no report of any killings at the stadium.
(AP) Iraqi President Jalal Talabani gestures while announcing in Baghdad, Iraq, Wednesday April 20,...
Militant violence has surged in the past week, especially in Baghdad, with explosions often going off one after another in the morning.
The first car bomb exploded near a U.S. convoy in an area of western Baghdad where the notorious Abu Ghraib prison is located, setting an oil tanker on fire, said police Maj. Moussa Abdulkarim. Two Iraqis were killed and five wounded, said Hussam Abdulrazaq, an official at the nearby al-Yarmouk Hospital. The U.S. military had no immediate information on the incident.
The two other car bombs exploded in southern Baghdad. One missed a police convoy but hit a civilian car, killing two Iraqis and wounding four, said police Capt. Falah al-Muhamadwai. The other exploded in a parking lot near Bilat al-Shuhada police station in Dora area, wounding four civilians, said police Lt. Hassan Falah.
In Sadr city, a poor section of eastern Baghdad, gunmen in a speeding car fired on policeman Ali Talib as he walked toward his car, killing him, said Col. Hussein Abdulwahid of the local police force. In another part of east Baghdad, gunmen attacked a Health Ministry car, killing the driver and wounding an unidentified passenger, said police Col. Hassan Jaloub.
South of the city, one policeman was killed and two were seriously wounded when their patrol was hit by a roadside bomb in the town of Mowailha, said police Capt. Muthana AL-Furati.
(AP) Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, left, gestures while announcing in Baghdad, Iraq, Wednesday April,...
On Tuesday night, an attack by a suicide car bomber near an American patrol in southern Baghdad killed two U.S. soldiers and wounded four, said Lt. Col. Clifford Kent, a spokesman for America's 3rd Infantry Division. Seven Iraqi civilians also were wounded, an official at Al-Yarmouk Hospital said.
In the southern city of Basra, Abdulal al-Batat, a former aide to Saddam Hussein's half brother, Sabawi Ibrahimal-Hassan, was killed Tuesday by gunmen outside his home, said police Lt. Col. Karim al-Zaydi.
Al-Hassan, who was suspected of financing insurgents after U.S. troops ousted Saddam in 2003, was captured in Syria and turned over to Iraqi authorities in February.
Al-Qaida in Iraq, the nation's most feared terror group, claimed responsibility for Tuesday's worst attack, a suicide bombing near an army recruitment center in Baghdad that police said killed at least six Iraqis and wounded 44.
The weeklong surge in violence comes as Shiite and Kurdish leaders try to form a Cabinet that will also include members of Iraq's Sunni minority, believed to form the backbone of the insurgency. Talibani told reporters that officials hope to announce the new government Thursday.
On Tuesday, the U.S. military said it regretted an incident in which a Shiite legislator linked to a radical anti-American cleric was briefly held at a checkpoint by American soldiers.
Fattah al-Sheik tearfully told parliament he had been handcuffed and humiliated at a U.S. checkpoint on his way to work. He claimed an American soldier kicked his car, mocked the legislature, handcuffed him and held him by the neck. The assembly demanded a U.S. apology and prosecution of the soldier involved.
A U.S. military statement said its initial investigation indicated that al-Sheik got into an altercation with a coalition translator at the checkpoint. U.S. soldiers tried to separate them and "briefly held on to the legislator," while preventing another member of al-Sheik's party from getting out of his car.
"We have the highest respect for all members of the Transitional National Assembly. Their safety and security is critically important," U.S. Brig. Gen. Karl R. Horst said in the statement. "We regret this incident occurred and are conducting a thorough investigation."
Al-Sheik's small party has been linked to radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who led uprisings against the U.S.-led coalition in 2004. On his way home after the session, gunmen fired on al-Sheik's convoy, but he escaped unharmed, police and his party said.
in political asylum