Suicide Bombers Kill Dozens of Iraqi Civilians

Suicide bombers attacked a Shiite mosque in Khanaqin and a hotel in Baghdad, killing over fifty people.

Suicide Bombings Kill at Least 60 in Iraq (AP)

Suicide bombers killed 52 worshippers at a Shiite mosque near the Iranian border on Friday. In Baghdad two car bombs destroyed the blast wall protecting a hotel housing international journalists and killed eight Iraqis. The suicide attackers targeted the Sheik Murad mosque in Khanaqin, 90 miles northeast of Baghdad, as dozens of people were attending prayers, police said. Sixty-five people were wounded in addition to the 52 killed, Iraqi army Col. Hazim al-Sudani said.

The blasts near the Hamra hotel in Baghdad knocked down the concrete walls protecting the hotel and blew out windows but did no structural damage. However it brought down several residential buildings and left a large crater in the road. Firefighters and U.S. troops joined residents in digging through the debris for victims.

It would be the second attack against a hotel housing international journalists since the Oct. 24 triple vehicle bomb attack against the Palestine Hotel, where The Associated Press, Fox News and other organizations live and work. “What we have here appears to be two suicide car bombs (that) attempted to breach the security wall in the vicinity of the hotel complex, and I think the target was the Hamra Hotel,” U.S. Brig. Gen. Karl Horst told reporters at the scene.

Gunfire followed the blasts, which came less than a minute apart and echoed throughout downtown Baghdad. At first the target appeared to be an interior ministry building where U.S. troops on Sunday found about 170 detainees, some of whom appeared to have been tortured. “The investigation is under way, but the initial reports indicate so far the first car bomber was trying to pave the way for the second one, not on the main road, but on a secondary road to get in and hit the Hamra hotel, not the interior ministry,” said Maj. Gen. Hussein Kamal, the deputy interior minister.

There’s little doubt that these types of attacks would continue if American troops were to suddenly pull out of Iraq. Contrary to the views of Rep. Murtha, our troops are no longer the primary target of the so-called insurgency.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. LJD says:

    “…our troops are no longer the primary target of the so-called insurgency.”

    But Ken says the Iraqis are only fighting to defend their homeland from the U.S…..

  2. ken says:

    There is a civil war going on between shiites and sunnis, and, at the same time, there is the battle to drive the US occupation forces out of Iraq. This is too complicated for conservatives like LJD to understand. He is a good example of why conservatives should never be allowed a military to play with.

    The civil war will continue whether we are there or not. The battle to drive us out will only end when we leave.

  3. odograph says:

    So James, what’s your plan to stop these attacks?

  4. McGehee says:

    The terrorists — both al Qaedas and Ba’athists — are taking it out on the Iraqis for deciding they kind of like the idea of getting to decide how they’ll be governed.

    “Civil war,” Ken? Hilarious. Tell us another one.

  5. odograph says:

    In case you guys can’t connect the dots, the way to answer Murtha is to say exactly how you’ll make Iraq right.

    He’s saying that the pattern of the last year has generated more, not less, violence. He’s saying that in the absense of a plan, the administration is just offering more of the same. Are you ready to shift your game, and generate less violence, not more?

    Or is the whole plan to hope for magic?

    Or is it to hope the Democrats will quiet down for a moment, so that the Administration can suddenly turn the tables, declare victory, and go home?

    That’s really my feeling, Bush wants out, but he can’t figure out a way to make it sound like his idea.

  6. LJD says:

    You feel Operation Steel Curtain is not the implementation of some sort of plan (to elimintate foreign fighters)?

    What about pressure on Iran/ Syria? Look how the Internation Comunity has backed us up!

    What about the lives of the Iraqi miltary and police officers given to secure their country? All for nothing?

  7. odograph says:

    Remember, the case the Administration is making is that the current plan (to work along without a schedule) is the best. Take each of those things you just mentioned and tell me why they work worse with a schedule?

    I’m interested in particular by the idea that a schedule with target dates encourages the insurgents, but does not incourage the Iraqi military, police, and government, to get their act together by those dates.

    I mean, the administration wants a hand-off right?

    Explain why it can’t schedule one.

  8. LJD says:

    What makes you think the administration did not give the U.S. military, and subsequently the Iraqi Police and Military, as schedule with target dates and goals? Just because they didn’t let YOU in on it (and subsequently the insurgents)?

    No, what you’re looking for is an END date. There is a difference.

  9. odograph says:

    Apparently they didn’t let Murtha in on it either.

  10. odograph says:

    Oh, this is good. Above you scoff at Ken (the Liberal) for thinking there is a civil war. It turns out retired Gen. William E. Odom, the head of the National Security Agency during the Reagan administration, also thinks … get this, not only that there is a civil war right now … but also that we should “cut and run”

    http://www.niemanwatchdog.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=ask_this.view&askthisid=129

    So much for lame divisions that all Repubs are (brainless) hawks.

  11. LJD says:

    Yeah, he was still writing about the cold war in 1998. Then he came up with the brilliant revelation that our intelligence abilities needed to be improved, two years after 9/11. How timely and insightful.

    How much do you suppose he learned about the present-day middle east while he was at the USMA back in 1954?

  12. odograph says:

    So ah, you were a general when?

  13. The Terrorists are Proving Their Intelligence

    Ok, you’re a terrorist. You want to rally the Muslim world behind you against the oppressive Americans. How do you do it? Well, your guys messed up last week and “accidentally” bombed a wedding party so you’re already losing…

  14. LJD says:

    I wasn’t, but if you want to quote sources as being an authority on the ME and especially Iraq, you might want to pick some one with experience at least in this decade. My point, all due respect to the General, is that he is now an Author, no longer a soldier in the GWOT. In fact, when he was in service, no one could have even conceived of the GWOT.

  15. odograph says:

    Seems to me that these threads too often descend to someone refusing the evidence provided, and offering none of his own.

    You’ve got nuthin’ just like Bush has nuthin’

    That’s why the Whitehouse has to call Murtha a “Michael Moore” … that childish and emotional slur is literally the best answer they have.

  16. LJD says:

    This is like talking to a brick wall (less intereting even)…

    For the last time, a poll is not a fact. (Especially considering the propaganda war the MSM has waged) Get it through your thick skull…

    Problem with Democrats, is their new philosphy on Democracy, that we ought to govern with polls… Where the hell would we be if our foreign policy shifted with every wind change? Hence the need for REPRESENTATIVE government.

    “You’ve got nuthin’ just like Bush has nuthin’” Um… When you accuse somebody of something, the burden of proof is on the accuser. Ever heard of innocent until proven guilty? Oh yeah, only applies to terrorists. See how deeply entrenched you Socialists have become?

  17. anjin-san says:

    LJD,

    In case you missed this in an earlier thread, here is the link to the quotes I refrenced from administration forcasting an easy war:

    http://www.usatoday.com/educate/war28-article.htm

    So please tell me again how I was “cutting & pasting from the Hate Amercia site”

    Is the world you live in really that simple LJD?

  18. Bombers Kill 74 at Two Mosques in Iraq

    Suicide bombers killed 74 worshippers at two Shiite mosques near the Iranian border Friday, while a

  19. LJD says:

    Try to stay with the program Anjin, you’re posting the wrong thread again.
    I guess I meant to say is that it’s the hate America website that regurgitates stories from April 2003, when we all know those comments were pointed at the initial invasion, not the current situation. Even though, in 2003, the adinistration said it would be a long road, you dim-wits still only hear what you want.

    Odo- again polls aren’t evidence. I’m still waiting. But while we’re at it, lets review your plan… Bush lied and doesn’t have a plan, put Iraq in civil war chaos, and he should cut bait and let the civilains of Iraq get slaughtered by foreign extremists. Is that about it?

  20. anjin-san says:

    LDJ,

    Please produce this “Hate America” website. I produce a link to USA today. Are you saying USA Today hates America?

    Sorry but your comic book view of the war does not wash. If an administration takes us to war, they bear responsibility for all the consequences. You can’t simply predict a few initial military sucesses and then wash your hands of what happens downstream.

    No one doubted the ability of our military to inflict a resounding defeat upon Saddam’s forces. The administration was warned that they were opening a can of worms that would require a large occupying force at great expense. They fired a general who was telling them something other then what they wanted to hear if you recall.

    If you read GHW Bush’s book, you will see they did not remove Saddam from power in the wake of Gulf 1 because they were afraid of pretty much exactly what has happend in Iraq since we did actually depose him.

  21. Herb says:

    Does anyone else here on OTB think that Ken, Odo and Anjin might be an Al Quida operatives or a plant or at least a Michael More mole sent to harrass the deicent people here.

    All three comment like they are here to “spread the truth” (joke) about Bush, but not doing to well at it.

    To bad that these guys are in a very small minority and are often classified as “Jerks”

  22. anjin-san says:

    Herb..

    Thats really all you have left?

    Sad…

  23. anjin-san says:

    Ken & Odo,

    I think its time to stop responding to Herb. There has to be someone intelligent out there we can debate with & he obviously does not qualify.

  24. odograph says:

    LJD, I don’t think you grasp quite how unconcerned I am in convincing you. I have confidence you see, that you can wave away any data given you.

    Anyone else really should listen to this one hour audio presentation. It includes a couple “cut and run” experts, and one counter insurgency expert who thinks Iraq can still be won:

    http://www.radioopensource.org/stuck-in-the-pottery-barn/

    The interesting thing is that the “can be won” guy … well, I’ll let you listen.

  25. Herb says:

    Anjin:

    Apparantly you don’t understand just what a “JERK” is. Better look in the mirror and you will see one if you take the anti American, negative blinders off.

    Now, put your turbin on and go march along side of your Anti American buddies, OBL and the rest of your extremist “Friends”.

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