Thursday, December 20, 2007

Eid a great time for terrorists

Eid is a great time to mass murder Iraqis because it's so easy. 

Iraq bombings kill at least 16

By Tina Susman, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
7:23 AM PST, December 20, 2007
BAGHDAD -- Two bomb blasts shattered the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha today in Iraq, including one that targeted a gathering of Iraqi security volunteers meeting with U.S. forces north of the capital.

Police in Diyala province said at least 13 people were killed and 10 injured and that one of the dead may have been an American soldier. U.S. officials said they could not immediately confirm that any Americans were killed in the attack in Kanan, about 12 miles east of Baqubah, the provincial capital.

"There was a meeting with U.S. forces at the time of the attack, when the suicide attacker was able to get inside before exploding himself," said a police official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The same official said that initial reports indicated the dead included a "prominent leader" of the so-called Awakening Council of local sheiks who have joined forces to work with U.S. and Iraqi troops against insurgents.

Another bomb hit a busy shopping street in central Baghdad, targeting a row of liquor stores. Police said three people were killed when the bomb exploded inside a parked car. Nine people were injured.

After the fall of President Saddam Hussein in 2003, liquor stores came under attack from religious extremists, and most closed. In recent months, however, a decline in violence has prompted some to reopen.

The Eid holiday, which Sunni Muslims began celebrating Wednesday and which Shiites will start to observe Friday, is a time for families to gather for feasts and to visit the graves of their loved ones. Shops have been doing a brisk business selling food and sweets for the occasion, making shopping districts more crowded than normal and prime targets for insurgents.

The U.S. military, meanwhile, released details today of an apparent torture center found in Diyala province this month. A military statement said U.S. forces killed 24 suspected insurgents and detained 37 during an operation Dec. 8-11, which also uncovered the apparent torture complex.

The statement said the remains of 26 people were found in multiple mass graves during the operation near Muqdadiya, 60 miles northeast of Baghdad. Tips from residents led U.S. troops to the site, which appeared to have been used by the group Al Qaeda in Iraq as a detention and execution facility. A bed hooked up to an electrocution system, chains on the walls and ceilings and blood-stained items were found inside the compound, officials said.

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