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02-01-08, 03:14 PM #1
Can We Say It Now? Al Quaeda = Spawn of Satan?
Two mentally impaired female bombers strike pet markets in Baghdad, killing at least 73
By Kim Gamel
9:31 a.m. February 1, 2008
Two female suicide bombers killed at least 68 people in separate attacks in Baghdad Friday. It's the deadliest day in the Iraqi capital since the U.S. troop surge began in April.
BAGHDAD – Remote-controlled explosives strapped to two mentally retarded women detonated in a coordinated attack on Baghdad pet bazaars Friday, Iraqi officials said, killing at least 73 people in the deadliest day since the U.S. sent 30,000 extra troops to the capital last spring.
The chief Iraqi military spokesman in Baghdad, Brig. Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi, claimed the female bombers had Down syndrome and that the explosives were detonated by remote control, indicating they may not having been willing attackers in what could be a new method by suspected Sunni insurgents to subvert stepped up security measures.
U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker said the bombings showed that a resilient al-Qaeda has “found a different, deadly way” to try to destabilize Iraq.
“There is nothing they won't do if they think it will work in creating carnage and the political fallout that comes from that,” he told The Associated Press in an interview at the State Department.
The first attack Friday occurred at about 10:20 a.m. in the central al-Ghazl market. The weekly bazaar has been bombed several times since the war started but recently had re-emerged as a popular place to shop and stroll as Baghdad security improved and a Friday ban on driving was lifted.
Four police and hospital officials said at least 46 people were killed and more than 100 wounded. Firefighters scooped up debris scattered among pools of blood, clothing and pigeon carcasses.
About 20 minutes later, a second female suicide bomber struck a bird market in a predominantly Shiite area in southeastern Baghdad. That blast killed as many as 27 people and wounded 67, according to police and hospital officials.
One witness who declined to be identified told AP Television News that the woman said she had birds to sell, then blew herself up as people gathered around to inspect them.
The attacks were the latest in a series of violent incidents that have been chipping away at Iraqi confidence in the permanence of recent security gains.
Iraqi President Jalal Talabani said about 70 people were killed in both attacks, which he said were committed by terrorists motivated by revenge and “to show that they are still able to stop the march of history and of our people toward reconciliation.”
Police initially said the bomb at al-Ghazl market was hidden in a box of birds but determined it was a suicide attack after finding the woman's head, an officer said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to release the information.
One pigeon vendor said the market had been particularly busy because it was a pleasantly crisp and clear winter day after a recent cold spell.
“I have been going to the pet market with my friend every Friday, selling and buying pigeons,” said Ali Ahmed, who was hit by shrapnel in his legs and chest. “It was nice weather today and the market was so crowded.”
He said he was worried about his friend, Zaki, who disappeared after the blast about 40 yards away.
“I just remember the horrible scene of the bodies of dead and wounded people mixed with the blood of animals and birds, then I found myself lying in a hospital bed,” Ali said.
Navy Cmdr. Scott Rye, a U.S. military spokesman, gave lower casualty figures, saying seven were killed and 23 wounded in the first bombing, and 20 killed and 30 wounded in the second.
He confirmed both attacks were carried out by women wearing explosives vests and said the attacks appeared to be coordinated and likely the work of al-Qaeda in Iraq.
Associated Press records show that since the start of the war at least 151 people have been killed in at least 17 attacks or attempted attacks by female suicide bombers, including today's bombings.
The most recent was on Jan. 16 when a female suicide bomber detonated her explosives as Shiites were preparing for a ceremony marking the holiday of Ashoura in a Shiite village near the Diyala provincial capital of Baqouba.
Involving women in fighting violates cultural taboos in Iraq, but the U.S. military has warned that al-Qaeda in Iraq is recruiting females and youths to stage suicide attacks because militants are increasingly desperate to thwart stepped-up security measures.
Women in Iraq often wear a black Islamic robe known as an abaya and can avoid thorough searches at checkpoints because men are not allowed to search them and there's a dearth of female guards.
In January 2005, Iraq's interior minister said that insurgents used a disabled child as one of the suicide bombers who launched attacks on election day. Police at the scene of the bombing said the child appeared to have Down syndrome.
Many teenage boys were among the casualties in the al-Ghazl bombing Friday, according to the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to release the information.
A bomb hidden in a box of small birds also exploded at the al-Ghazl market in late November, killing at least 15 people and wounding dozens. The U.S. military blamed the November attack on Iranian-backed Shiite militants, saying they had hoped al-Qaeda in Iraq would be held responsible for the attack so Iraqis would turn to them for protection.
The U.S. military has been unable to stop the suicide bombings despite a steep drop in violence in the past six months, but the explosions on Friday were the deadliest in the capital since Aug. 1, when some 70 people were killed in three attacks, including 50 in a fuel truck explosion in Baghdad.
Rae Muhsin, the 21-year-old owner of a cell phone store, said he was walking toward the New Baghdad bird market in southeastern Baghdad when the blast occurred, shattering the windows of nearby stores.
“I ran toward the bird market and saw charred pieces of flesh, small spots of blood and several damaged cars,” Muhsin said, adding he will no longer visit the Friday market. “I thought that we had achieved real security in Baghdad, but it turned that we were wrong.”
The number of Iraqi civilians and security forces killed in January fell to at least 609, an Associated Press tally showed, the lowest monthly death toll since December 2005, and continuing a downward trend since the fall. The figure as tabulated by Iraqi officials in the ministries of Defense, Interior and Health was slightly lower, at 543.
U.S. forces, meanwhile, have expanded offensives in central and northern Iraq, seeking to build on gains against al-Qaeda in Iraq in the past year. But the latest campaigns also have driven up the military's death toll after months of decline.
Two U.S. soldiers were killed Thursday – one by a roadside bomb in Baghdad and another by a rocket or mortar attack on a convoy support center south of the capital, the military reported.
The attacks raised to at least 39 the number of U.S. troops who died in January – well above the 23 in December but still sharply lower than a year ago. In January last year, 83 soldiers were killed in Iraq.Molly Weasley makes Chuck Norris eat his vegetables.
Do not puff, shade, skew, tailor, firm up, stretch, massage,
or otherwise distort statements of fact.FBI Special Agent Coleen Rowley
02-01-08, 03:18 PM #2
Ah the peace loving religion of islam.
Meanwhile, fishing in Russia:
"When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that justifies it." -- Frederic Bastiat
"Certainly there is no hunting like the hunting of man and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never really care for anything else thereafter." Ernest Hemingway
The opinions given in my signatures & threads DO NOT reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employing agency. They are my personal opinions only, thereby releasing my agency of any liability, or involvement in anything posted under the username "Five-0" on Officerresource.com
02-01-08, 03:18 PM #3
Wow, a Middle Eastern group that recognizes equal rights for women!Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence.
[George Washington (1732 - 1799)]
02-01-08, 05:44 PM #4
Do they get 72 retarded virgins? Male or female?
"The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money."
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Tell me not, Sweet, I am unkind,
That from the nunnery
Of thy chaste breast and quiet mind
To war and arms I fly. - Lovelace
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