Another bad day in Washington, DC
er, I mean Baghdad, according to conservatives, the same thing.
Baghdad car bombs kill at least 38, wound 84
Earlier, U.S., Iraqi forces capture 36 insurgents in Baqouba raid
Updated: 9 minutes ago
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Three bombs exploded in parked cars near an area packed with vendors in central Baghdad on Saturday, killing at least 38 people and wounding 84, officials said. The bombs were about 100 yards apart and exploded nearly simultaneously, according to police Lt. Ali Muhsin and hospital officials as the casualty toll rose from an initial report of 14 killed.
Muhsin said most of the victims were in the busy al-Sadriyah shopping district in central Baghdad.
Earlier on Saturday, U.S. and Iraqi forces began an offensive in the capital of a northern province where fierce fighting has taken place with Sunni Arab insurgents, the U.S. command said.
Police said at least 36 suspected militants were detained during one pre-dawn raid at a major intersection in Baqouba, 35 miles northeast of Baghdad, but attacks by suspected insurgents continued outside the city, the capital of Diyala province where fighting has raged for a week between Sunni insurgents and police.
Later in the day, state-run Iraqiya television said one al-Qaida in Iraq insurgent was killed and 43 detained, including two foreigners.
Drive-by shootings in two nearby towns killed two civilians and wounded five, police said, speaking on condition of anonymity out of concern for their own security.
U.S. says Baqouba is operational
Saturday's operation in Baqouba was launched two days after the U.S. military said the city was fully operational, despite media reports that heavy fighting had cleared its streets of cars and pedestrians.
The U.S. command's statement said government offices, mosques and stores were open in the city, with Iraqi police and soldiers manning 11 checkpoints across the provincial capital. However, the military acknowledged insurgents had leveled a police station and forced officers to flee.
Elsewhere, a truck driving at high speed slammed into a bus stop in al-Wahada, 22 miles south of Baghdad, killing about 20 people waiting for buses to the capital and wounding 15, police said.
Police Lt. Muhammed Al-Shemari said the crash did not appear to be accidental because the truck, an empty fuel tanker, had no obvious mechanical problems.
The driver fled the overturned truck but was caught by witnesses and turned over to police, Al-Shemari said. Other witnesses found a body in the vehicle's cabin, he said.
Another police officer said the driver blamed brake failure. The officer spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the probe.
Scores of people are killed each week in Iraq by roadside bombs and car bombs, but there have been few reports of attacks during which a driver has plowed into a crowd in a vehicle without explosives hidden inside.
Farther to the south, U.S. forces killed an insurgent who was caught planting a roadside bomb on a major highway about 40 miles south of Baghdad, said police Capt. Muthanna Khalid said.
A roadside bomb also hit a police patrol in Youssifiyah, 12 miles south of Iraq's capital, killing one policeman and wounding six, police 1st Lt. Mohammed Kheyoun said.
Attack outside hospital
In Baghdad, gunmen attacked the main gate of Yarmouk Hospital, killing one policeman and wounding there, and the bodies of 12 people who had been handcuffed and shot to death were found, police said.
A U.S. Army soldier also was killed in fighting in the volatile Anbar province on Friday, the military said, raising to at least 2,887 the number of service members who have died since the Iraq war started in March 2003.
In Jordan, Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim, a senior Iraqi Shiite leader who is to meet with President Bush in Washington on Monday, said he opposes a proposed international conference on Iraq.
Al-Hakim, leader of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, or SCIRI, said Iraq's conflict is "political," not sectarian, and he disagreed with U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan's suggestion last week that such a conference could be useful if the political parties involved met outside Iraq.
In Doha, Qatar, where the Iraqi athletes were competing at the 15th Asian Games, International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge appealed for the release of Iraqi Olympic officials who were kidnapped in Iraq in July.
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