RE: Iraq: Meltdown
Suicide car bombs kill 16 in Iraq
Thursday, June 2, 2005 Posted: 9:59 AM EDT (1359 GMT)
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- A series of suicide car bombs killed at least 16 people Thursday in Iraq, including a political leader in Baquba, authorities said.
The three blasts -- one of which targeted a restaurant and killed 10 people -- also wounded 53 people, officials said.
The restaurant, where security personnel often eat, is in the northern Iraqi town of Tuz Khurmatu, about 55 miles south of Kirkuk. The attack there wounded 38 people, including several bodyguards of Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Rowsch Shaways, a senior Iraqi official said.
In Kirkuk, about 40 minutes later, another suicide car bomb killed two children and wounded 11 Iraqi civilians, said Maj. Gen. Anwar Mohammed Amin, commander of the Iraqi army guard of Kirkuk.
The attacker was trying to hit a U.S. diplomatic convoy that was entering the Arafa complex of the Oil Northern Co., but missed and instead damaged three civilian cars, Amin said.
In another strike, a suicide car bomb hit a convoy carrying Hussein Alwan al-Thamimi -- a deputy head of a Baquba governing council, police said. The attack killed al-Thamimi and three of his bodyguards, police said. The blast wounded four others, including three Iraqi police officers.
Baquba is about 40 miles northeast of Baghdad.
In the northern city of Mosul, meanwhile, a parked motorcycle rigged with explosives detonated Thursday, killing a police officer and wounding 16 others, said Kashro Goran, Nineveh's deputy governor.
Among those wounded were two Iraqi Interior Ministry commandos, Goran said.
Insurgent leader captured
A top insurgent figure was captured Thursday during a crackdown in Baghdad called Operation Lightning, a Defense Ministry official said.
The leader is called Emir Abu Ghraib, although that is not his real name, and he belongs to the 1920s Revolt group, the official said.
He is believed to be responsible for the killings of 100 Iraqi civilians and 40 Iraqi security forces, the Defense Ministry official said, adding that he is also believed responsible for the attack on the Abu Ghraib prison complex in early April.
Operation Lightning consists of widespread cordons, roadblocks and house-to-house searches.
A subcommittee from the Shiite- and Kurdish-dominated legislative group charged with writing a new constitution began talks Thursday with Sunni Arabs to bring them into the process of creating a new political culture, said Ayad al-Samarraie, a spokesman for a major Sunni Arab political grouping called the Iraqi Islamic Party.
An attorney for Saddam Hussein urged the country's new government to bring formal charges against the ousted Iraqi leader if it expects to put him on trial this summer. The remarks Wednesday by attorney Giovanni Di Stefano came one day after the president of Iraq's transitional government, Jalal Talabani, said he hopes to see Saddam tried within two months. (Full story)
Two soldiers died Wednesday, one in a roadside bombing and the other from small arms fire near Ramadi, U.S. Central Command said Thursday. In Kirkuk, a Task Force Liberty soldier died in a non-battle-related injury. The deaths bring to 1,667 the number of U.S. troops killed in the Iraq war, according to U.S. military reports.
The United States, the European Union and Iraq announced an international conference on Iraq. It will be held in Brussels, Belgium, on June 22.
U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan has fired staffer Joseph Stephanides for his role in the Iraq oil-for-food scandal, U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric announced Wednesday. Stephanides immediately vowed to appeal.
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