Massacre in Iraq

Dozens of Shiite villagers in the north were massacred by Sunni extremists, two officials said Tuesday, while a car bomb exploded across the street from the Iranian Embassy in the heart of Baghdad and killed four civilians.

Meanwhile, Shiite legislators loyal to anti-U.S. cleric Muqtada al-Sadr decided to end their five-week boycott of parliament, one of their leaders said. The Shiite protest along with a separate Sunni boycott had blocked work on key benchmark legislation demanded by the U.S.

Police Col. Ragheb Radhi al-Omairi said 29 members of a Shiite tribe were massacred overnight in Diyala province when dozens of suspected Sunni gunmen raided their village near Muqdadiyah, about 60 miles northeast of Baghdad. The dead included four women, al-Omairi said.

Al-Omairi said he had not seen the bodies and it was unclear whether they had been retrieved.

An Iraqi army officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not supposed to release the information, said the attack occurred in the village of Diwailiya and that at least 10 bodies were mutilated in the hour-long raid.

In Baghdad, the deadliest bombing occurred when a suicide driver detonated his vehicle near an Iraqi army patrol in Zayouna, a mostly Shiite area of eastern Baghdad, killing 10 people, including six civilians, police said.

Police said 11 people, including seven civilians, were wounded.

The blast near the Iranian Embassy occurred in late morning a few hundred yards north of the U.S.-controlled Green Zone, sending a huge cloud of black smoke over the city. Three civilians also were wounded, said police.

All the Baghdad police officers spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release information.

Also Tuesday, the bodies of two security guards were found in the western Baghdad neighborhood of Mansour, two days after they were kidnapped from the office of a cell phone company where they worked, police said.

American forces have launched offensives around the Iraqi capital to try to halt the flow of bombs and fighters into the city. The latest strike began Monday southwest of the city in an area where al-Qaida and other groups have been active for years.

On Tuesday, the U.S. command announced that American soldiers had killed about a dozen insurgents during a three-hour gunfight the day before in the Fadhil district, a Sunni enclave in the center of the city. The battle began when paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division came under fire from the Islamic Bank building, the military said.

One U.S. trooper was slightly wounded, the U.S. said.

The leader of the 30-member Sadrist bloc in parliament, Nasser al-Rubaie, said the decision to end the boycott was taken after the government agreed to rebuild a Shiite mosque in Samarra which was destroyed in two bombings and to secure the highway from Baghdad and the shrine.

Pressure is now expected to mount on the Sunnis to end their boycott, which began over the ouster of the Sunni speaker of parliament last month. Sunni leaders say agreement is near on ending the protest.

Both protests have paralyzed work in Iraq’s fractious, 275-member assembly as pressure is growing in the United States to bring an end to the U.S. military role here.

However, the Sadrists also oppose a number of bills sought by the government, including legislation to regulate the oil industry. That could make it tougher for key benchmark legislation to win approval.

To the south, commercial air service resumed Tuesday at Basra’s international airport after rocket or mortar fire damaged the runway, a British spokesman said.

The attack in Basra occurred Monday, causing minor damage and a one-day suspension of commercial air service, British spokesman Maj. Matthew Bird said. There were no casualties, he said.

Basra’s airport is controlled by British troops who come under almost daily attacks from Shiite militiamen in the southern oil-producing region. Al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army militia and other Shiite factions are competing for control of the area.

In Kirkuk, families collected the bodies of relatives from hospitals a day after a triple bombing killed about 80 people. Others were searching debris still left on the street, hoping for clues about what happened to friends and relatives whose bodies have not been identified.

All but one of the victims died when a massive truck bomb exploded near the Kirkuk Castle and the headquarters of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, the party of Iraqi President Jalal Talabani.

It was the deadliest attack in Kirkuk, 180 miles north of Baghdad, where Arabs, Turkomen and Kurds are competing for control of the city at the heart of Iraq’s northern oil region.

Saman Ahmed, 35, said he was driving along the street when the blast “pushed other vehicles toward my car along with fire and shrapnel like a flood.”

“The glass from my car and the other cars went into my face,” he said from his hospital bed. “Now I cannot hear well because of the sound of the explosion. I saw tens of dead bodies lying on the ground.”

Voters in the city are to decide whether to join the Kurdish self-ruled region in a referendum by year’s end.

With three ethnic groups competing for control, violence in Kirkuk has been frequent. But Monday’s blasts were on a far bigger scale than most attacks.

U.S. and Iraqi officials have said Sunni Arab insurgents are moving farther north to carry out attacks, fleeing U.S. offensives in and around Baghdad.


  1. Jerry

    Did you notice a FOXNews piece yesterday?

    “Bush Surprises Senate Aides With Unexpected Interruption of White House Meeting”

    Tuesday, July 17, 2007

    By Major Garrett and Trish Turner

    WASHINGTON — President Bush shocked Capitol Hill staffers and Republican leaders Monday when he crashed a meeting at the White House to deliver a blunt message that he wasn’t backing down on Iraq and Republicans need to understand that.

    “It was stunning,” said one GOP aide who attended the meeting. “We couldn’t believe he came in.”

    “We kept looking at each other, amazed he came in,” said another Republican aide.

    Bush was described as folksy, adamant and mildly profane as he interrupted the meeting between senior White House communications staffers Tony Snow and Ed Gillespie and GOP leaders. His message: the policy on Iraq isn’t changing. He is not backing down and no one on Capitol Hill should be confused into thinking he is letting up.”


    The Decider-in-Chief is losing it. When senior Republicans describe themselves as “amazed” by Bush’s behavior, and the right-wing press reports their shock, we know something is seriously amiss in the president’s head.

  2. Klaus Hergeschimmer

    I bet in the present life an Islamist toy store called Martyrs R Us would be popular.

  3. Carl Nemo

    Great commentary Steve Horn…!

    Yep, I guess there will be no Disney Theme Parks or Starbucks outlets for them! An Islamists theme park is evidently in the afterlife…:))

    Nemo **==

  4. Steve Horn

    Hey Carl Nemo – nope – no IslamDisney, no Starbucks and no Sprawlmarts – funny – reading what I’ve just written maybe the Iraqi’s have something … not the killing … just the absence of Disney, Starbucks and Sprawlmart .. ;=)


  5. gene

    Yep Carl your right..”An Islamists theme park is evidently in the afterlife” and they are taught and believe this. Personally I think its the (how many?) 30 or 40 virgins these guys will have in paradise.

    Although that does sound interesting but actually it only amounts to a bunch of “screwing” around for a few hundred years…..or less.

  6. Steve Horn

    I suppose we’re learning why Iraq only managed to survive as a nation when under totalitarian control. Apparently the “citizens” of this fragile nation don’t have the social maturity to accept differences and concentrate on the task at hand – life.

    From the CIA factbook:

    “Formerly part of the Ottoman Empire, Iraq was occupied by Britain during the course of World War I; in 1920, it was declared a League of Nations mandate under UK administration. In stages over the next dozen years, Iraq attained its independence as a kingdom in 1932. A “republic” was proclaimed in 1958, but in actuality a series of military strongmen ruled the country until 2003.”

    Now, with no clear idea of how to govern, with no understanding of how to function as a society without a totalitarian thug running the place, the nation has fallen apart.

    Until these people can learn to look past their relegious differences and begin to act like a society, the killing will continue.


  7. gene

    Steve I don’t think they ever will “learn to look past their religious differences” and “begin to act like a society”. It literally takes a dictator to control this “religious” lunacy. Makes the ideal of democracy absolutely rediculeous for this area of the world.

    This seems to be a never ending horror show. Iraq was better off under Saddam compared to the last several years. Bush and his “thugs” have created a living hell.

  8. LurkingFromTheLeft

    Gee – the headline and the intro…

    …work both ways –

    …massacre in Iraq – of our fellow citizens –

    …country out of control – OURS TOO – due to those ‘in charge’ – or pretending to be –


  9. Steve Horn

    unlimited virgins (who need to remain virgins) – where the hell is the fun in that????

  10. LurkingFromTheLeft

    I’m not sure they explain…

    …THAT piddly little detail during the recruiting sessions –

    …darn, did we forget to tell ya THAT? –


  11. Sandra Price

    My fear is we are heading in the same direction. With a developing Big Daddy in the White House, it will only be a matter years when we Americans will have lost our ability to govern our own lives.

    We may be seeing our own future by observing Iraq. The fear of their Islamic God has made clones out of all of them. They absolutely need a dictator to survive even a single day.

  12. gene

    Sandra we (this nation) is definitely “heading in the same direction” as “Big Brother” begins to watch our every transaction. This nation is being prepared (brainwashed) for an eventual dictatorship.