Baghdad Governor Assassinated

Baghdad Governor Assassinated (Reuters)

Gunmen have killed Baghdad’s governor in Iraq’s highest-profile assassination in eight months and a suicide bomber has killed 10 people near the Green Zone in an escalating campaign to wreck a January 30 election.

The targeting of Governor Ali al-Haidri showed insurgents’ power to strike at the heart of Iraq’s governing class, raising fresh doubts whether Iraqi security forces can protect politicians and voters as the national ballot draws near.

The assassination on Tuesday took place just hours after a suicide bomber rammed a fuel truck into a checkpoint near Baghdad’s Green Zone, a sprawling complex housing the Iraqi government and the U.S. and British embassies. It created a giant fireball that rocked the capital, police and hospital sources said.

The bombing, which also wounded 58 people, brought fresh scenes of bloodshed and destruction to Baghdad a day after 17 security men were killed in a string of ambushes and explosions across the country.

The attacks were the latest in a drive by Sunni insurgents trying to force out U.S.-led forces, cripple the American-backed interim government and scare voters away from the polls. Iraqi leaders say guerrillas also want to provoke sectarian civil war.

Details of Haidri’s death remained sketchy. He was the most senior Iraqi official to be assassinated in Baghdad since the head of the Governing Council was killed by a suicide bomb in May last year.

Other wire dispatches, as presented in the Washington Post, have some of the early details:

Baghdad Governor Assassinated (WaPo)

Al-Haidari’s three-vehicle convoy was passing through Baghdad’s northern neighborhood of Hurriyah when gunmen opened fire, said the chief of his security detail, who asked only to be identified as Maj. Mazen.

“The governor was in his armored BMW and we were in two other cars,” said Maj. Mazen, reached on al-Haidari’s cell phone. “Our convoy was moving in Hurriyah and they came from different directions and opened fire at us.”

The complete story is surely forthcoming, as are discussions of the political implications. But it’s obviously (and painfully) clear that this development is tragic.

FILED UNDER: General, Iraq War
Robert Garcia Tagorda
About Robert Garcia Tagorda
Robert blogged prolifically at OTB from November 2004 to August 2005, when career demands took him in a different direction. He graduated summa cum laude from Claremont McKenna College with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics and earned his Master in Public Policy from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.

Comments

  1. DC Loser says:

    This just adds the the belief of ordinary Iraqis and potential leaders that the US cannot guarantee anyone’s safety no matter how many bodyguards he has. It’s literally “nowhere to run and nowhere to hide.”

  2. McGehee says:

    This just adds the the belief of ordinary Iraqis and potential leaders…

    I hope you’ll share the full report of your poll. Methodology, weighting parameters, standard deviations, that kind of thing.

  3. DC Loser says:

    since you asked, where is yours? But this line of argument is pretty much asinine as the facts on the ground speak for itself. My friends on the ground are not optimistic.

  4. DC Loser says:

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,7374-1425022,00.html

    Iraqi insurgents now outnumber coalition forces –
    The head of intelligence services in Baghdad says that there are more than 200,000 fighters

    The link above doesn’t seem to want to work, so you’ll have to cut and paste the entire URL to your browser.

  5. LJD says:

    The answer to the violence starts in accountability for Iran and Syria, Iraqis stepping up in national security positions, and the average citizen ratting on their terrorist neighbors. It is the only way to have lasting results. If the U.S. does it all for them, it will surely crumble as soon as we leave.

    When has the U.S. ever guaranteed any one’s safety, including here in the U.S.?

    The British Times?!?! Now there’s a reliable source of information! It’s not just the link that doesn;t work. All too many (outside Iraq)seem to want a free Iraq to work either.

  6. DC Loser says:

    I guess your definition of reliable source is the one that best supports your position!

  7. LJD says:

    Yes, about an article clearly written with an ajenda:

    “General Shahwani said that there were at least 40,000 hardcore fighters attacking US and Iraqi troops, with the bulk made up of part-time guerrillas and volunteers providing logistical support, information, shelter and money.”

    40,000, not 200,000? How are we outnumbered? What are their weapons, capabilities?

    If Shahwani knows so much about the insurgency, then why does he have such a difficult time in assiting their capture?

  8. DC Loser says:

    He’s the director of the Iraqi intelligence effort. If he’s confused, then I shudder to think what our picture of the insurgency is. I wonder what your take on “the agenda” is. This article is quoting Shahwani so I don’t know how the Times is twisting his words to fit their journalistic agenda. Do you think Fox News can put a better spin on his assessment?

  9. DC Loser says:

    You left out this part of the article:

    “I think the resistance is bigger than the US military in Iraq. I think the resistance is more than 200,000 people,” General Muhammad Abdullah Shahwani, director of Iraq’s new intelligence services, said.

    Is that a selective bit of editing on your part?

  10. LJD says:

    Once again, totally missing my point. My earlier post outlined what the IRAQIS have to do for their own security. The left can’t let go of the concept that we somehow have to do it FOR them…

    This is a dumb, inflammatory, and biased article. Sorry, just calling a spade a spade. The whole point of it, if you paid attention in reading comprehension lessons:

    The number “…paints a much grimmer picture of the challenge facing the Iraqi authorities and their British and American backers as elections loom in four weeks.”

    That’s all they are trying to do, paint a grim picture, NOT report actual events.

    It seems to me the Iraqi authority has to look within:
    “The head of the Baghdad division of the Iraqi National Guard admitted that his paramilitary police force had been infiltrated by people who are leaking information to the guerrillas. ”

    “People are fed up after two years without improvement,” he said. “People are fed up with no security, no electricity, people feel they have to do something.”

    Fed up with whom? We’re fixing their utilities, the insurgents are blowing them up? How about they stand up for their own security, turn in the insurgents, support the coalition? Do they really think they’ll be any better off with the insurgents protecting their rights?

    “The army (dissolved by the American occupation authority) was hundreds of thousands. You’d expect some veterans would join with their relatives,…”
    (Note: “American Occupation” substituted for “Coalition”)

    Precisely why the former army of Saddam was largely fired. They cannot be trusted. Many should be in jail, but the bleeding hearts had to set them free…

  11. DC Loser says:

    DJC said: “This is a dumb, inflammatory, and biased article. Sorry, just calling a spade a spade. The whole point of it, if you paid attention in reading comprehension lessons:

    The number “…paints a much grimmer picture of the challenge facing the Iraqi authorities and their British and American backers as elections loom in four weeks.””

    I do very well in comprehension thanks. If you’d just take your ideological blinders off for a moment, the facts on the ground do paint a much grimmer picture of the challenge facing the Iraqi authorities….etc. No less an authority than the head of Iraqi authorities is saying the same thing. My friends in Iraq, and those just back from there say the same thing. Enuf said.

  12. DC Loser says:

    should say “LJD said:”