Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Insurgents using children to get thru checkpoints

Unbelievable and sickening that humans(?) actually do this. Maury posted this on Zeyad's blog - thanks Maury.

Maj. Gen. Michael Barbero, deputy director for regional operations on the Joint Staff, said Tuesday that a vehicle used in the attack was waved through a U.S. military checkpoint because two children were visible in the back seat. He said this was the first reported use of children in a suicide car bombing in Baghdad.

"Children in the back seat lowered suspicion, (so) we let it move through, they parked the vehicle, the adults run out and detonate it with the children in the back," Barbero told reporters in Washington. "The brutality and ruthless nature of this enemy hasn't changed."

Other U.S. officials said later that three Iraqi bystanders were killed in the attack near a marketplace in the northern Baghdad neighborhood of Azamiyah, in addition to the two children, and seven people were injured. The officials had no other details, including the estimated ages of the children.

Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, a U.S. military spokesman in Baghdad, confirmed Barbero's account but said he couldn't provide more details.

An Iraqi police officer, speaking on condition of anonymity because of security concern, said witnesses had reported seeing two children inside the car before it exploded. He said eight civilians were killed and 28 others wounded in the attack in the predominantly Shiite northern neighborhood of Shaab.

The police officer also said three other cases had been registered since last year in which women and children were used in parked car bombings, although they reportedly got out of the cars before the explosions in those cases.

The U.S. military has warned that insurgents are proving adaptable and finding new ways to bypass stepped up security measures and kill as many people as possible. A series of bombings using toxic chlorine since Jan. 28 also raised concerns.

U.S. forces killed five suspected insurgents, detained three others and used an airstrike to destroy a bomb-making factory that contained large-caliber ammunition and several 50-gallon barrels of explosive material near Taji, an air base 12 miles north of Baghdad, the military said in a statement. No American troops or civilians were injured during the operation, it added.

A Sadrist lawmaker, Bahaa al-Araji, also said U.S. troops raided his office Wednesday, seizing the memory card from his computer along with a gun and a rifle. The U.S. military had no immediate comment.

Al-Araji, one of 30 members of parliament loyal to radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, called the raid a violation of Iraq's sovereignty. "It is a message of provocation sent to the al-Sadr movement," he told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. "We will not be drawn into this confrontation."

"We are with the security plan, but we think that the searches should be done by Iraqi forces," he added.

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