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Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Post-Dome Attack: 1,300 Deaths in Iraq
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 8:16 am

Via WaPo: Toll in Iraq’s Deadly Surge: 1,300

Grisly attacks and other sectarian violence unleashed by last week’s bombing of a Shiite Muslim shrine have killed more than 1,300 Iraqis, making the past few days the deadliest of the war outside of major U.S. offensives, according to Baghdad’s main morgue. The toll was more than three times higher than the figure previously reported by the U.S. military and the news media.

Hundreds of unclaimed dead lay at the morgue at midday Monday — blood-caked men who had been shot, knifed, garroted or apparently suffocated by the plastic bags still over their heads. Many of the bodies were sprawled with their hands still bound — and many of them had wound up at the morgue after what their families said was their abduction by the Mahdi Army, the Shiite militia of cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.

[…]

Morgue officials said they had logged more than 1,300 dead since Wednesday — the day the Shiites’ gold-domed Askariya shrine was bombed — photographing, numbering and tagging the bodies as they came in over the nights and days of retaliatory raids.

And then today: Baghdad bombs kill 30:

Bombs killed at least 30 people in Baghdad and wrecked the tomb of Saddam Hussein’s father on Tuesday as the ousted leader was in court for the first time since days of sectarian violence pitched Iraq toward civil war.

[…]

Twenty-three people were killed when a bomb left at a fuel station in eastern Baghdad blasted people lining up for petrol, police said. At least seven were killed in two other explosions, including an apparent car bomb in a busy street across the Tigris river from the trial in one of Saddam’s former palaces.

Some 115 people were wounded in all, police said, in the bloodiest onslaught in the capital in two months and among the most serious since an alleged al Qaeda bomb destroyed a Shi’ite shrine in Samarra on Wednesday, sparking tit-for-tat reprisals.

And this lacks a certain, well, credibility:

U.S. ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, closely engaged in efforts to forge a national unity government, told CNN that Iraq “came to the brink of civil war” but said the present “crisis is over.” He warned, however, that further flare-ups were possible.

He way be right: the bombing today, sadly, could be seen to be part of the pre-Dome pattern of violence. Still, it seems a bit soon to declare the crisis over, since the quelling of the violence came about as a result of a curfew.

Filed under: Iraq, Global Politics | |Send TrackBack

2 Comments »

  1. I agree that the car bomb at the gas station, as well as many other attacks throughout the country, are not likely related to the Samarra mosque and are more indicative of pre-Dome violence. The press has a tendency to assume a causal relationship when one does not exist. I am not suggesting bias, simply that it is human nature to try to link cause and effect.

    One thing to consider, we usually see a spike of attacks in retaliation for key insurgent leaders getting picked up. It seems like there has been a couple media reports of key Al Qaeda types picked up recent. Some of these car bombs may be related.

    The truly disturbing reports are attacks on very specific targets, such as Sunni Mosques or selecting Shia passengers of cars for execution. With the curfew lifted it will interesting to see if we continue to see attacks that are clearly sectarian in nature against the public statements of religious leaders on both sides.

    Comment by bg — Tuesday, February 28, 2006 @ 1:18 pm

  2. All legitimate observations. I appreciate the comments, given your perspective on the situation.

    Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Tuesday, February 28, 2006 @ 1:34 pm

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