Monday, September 17, 2007

Iraq attacks signal start of Ramadan offensive

We might expect that those who are planning suicide attacks in Iraq and Afghanistan would be anxious to do it during this month of Ramadan, so expect a "surge" on their side of attacks against the American and other Coalition forces. Despite the talk in Washington, the various groups that pose themselves against the Coalition powers could make this an even more bloody month.

By Kim Sengupta
The Independent (UK)

"Bombs, mortars and gunfire left dozens dead and injured in Iraq within hours of insurgents announcing a Ramadan offensive. The attacks, three of them in Baghdad, came just days after US General David Petraeus's report said violence had fallen and President George Bush declared 'ordinary life was returning to the country'."
"Iraqi police said nine were killed and 12 injured in shootings at Mansour, one of the busiest parts of Baghdad ... Those shootings followed a car bomb outside a store on a street crowded with shoppers, killing three and wounding seven. Soon after, a mortar landed at the Shaab stadium near the city centre, killing two men ... a booby-trapped bicycle exploded outside a café "
"The Sunni insurgent group, the Islamic State of Iraq, which is said to be linked to al-Qa'ida, had announced it would carry out 'offensive operations' during Ramadan"
"Meanwhile, the US military captured Fallah Khalifa Hiyas Fayyas al-Jumayli, a suspect in the assassination of Abdul Sattar Abu Risha, a key US ally, in Anbar province last Thursday. The Islamic State of Iraq group threatened to hunt down any other tribal leaders co-operating with the US. It said it had formed "special security committees to trace and assassinate prominent [leaders] of agent tribes" who co-operated with the Americans."

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