At Least 50 Dead in Suicide Bomb Attack in Iraq
While the violence is down in Iraq, it's not gone.
Via the NYT: Suicide Blast in Iraq Kills Police Recruits
A suicide bomber mingling in a crowd of prospective police recruits in Saddam Hussein’s hometown detonated a vest of explosives on Tuesday in what was the worst single attack in Iraq in nearly three months.
The bombing in Tikrit, north of Baghdad, killed at least 50 people, including police officers and men seeking jobs to join them on the region’s police force, according to officials in Baghdad and in the province, Salahuddin. More than 150 others were wounded, according to officials who provided changing and conflicting counts, reflecting the chaotic aftermath of the bombing.
In terms of single bomber on foot, this is a rather efficient attack. Further, the ability to strike in the middle of police recruits (which has long been a popular target in Iraq) is significant as it is an attempt to 1) make the security forces themselves to look weak and ineffective, and 2) dissuade citizens from being willing to join up. And, of course, an attack in Tikrit is symbolic in and of itself given that, as the excerpt notes, Saddam’s birthplace.
This is the biggest attack since the October 21 attack on a Christian church in Baghdad, which was the work of the Islamic State of Iraq insurgent group.
In terms of the general state of affairs in Iraq, the story notes:
Violence in Iraq has reached a low since the American invasion in 2003, but the Islamic State of Iraq and other insurgent groups continue to strike with regularity, if less severity. They have attacked Iraq’s government and security services in particular, and the latest attack prompted criticism for an apparent lack of precautions against familiar insurgent tactics.