A suicide bomber detonated a belt of explosives on his body near a highly revered Shiite shrine in southern Iraq Thursday, killing at least 33 people and injuring 108, an official said.
The bomber blew himself up while being patted down by policemen near the Imam Ali mosque in the Shiite holy city of Najaf, said Dr. Munthir al-Ithari, the head of Najaf's health directorate. He said one Iranian woman was among the 33 dead and nine Iranians among the 108 injured.
"We hold Takfiris (Sunni extremists) and Saddamists directly responsible for this horrible crime ... at the same time we hold those who embrace terrorism in Iraq and the countries supporting it as responsible," the statement said.
It was the worst attack in the twin cities of Najaf and Kut since the July 18 bombing of another Shiite shrine in Kut that killed 53 people. That attack was claimed by a group affiliated with al-Qaida.
"We hold Takfiris (Sunni extremists) and Saddamists directly responsible for this horrible crime ... at the same time we hold those who embrace terrorism in Iraq and the countries supporting it as responsible," the statement said."
And if some right-wing stupid fuck out there still says there's no civil war then I think the above comment is proof enough there's a nasty war brewing.
And Takfiris -- does anybody know if that's Shia slang against Sunni much like we have our own favorite words here that bigots like to use on occasion??
6. Looks like the Iraqi civil war just got 'kicked-up a notch"
The Imam Ali mosque is one of the holiest places in Shiadom, and Najaf is the home of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, considered to be the most influential, moderate leader of Iraqi Shi'ites. Expect the situation in Iraq to get worse soon.
7. Crap. Seems like the shia-sunni strife is becoming more & more overt
...with each passing day. From the WP
"In Baghdad, fierce clashes erupted early Thursday in the Tobji neighborhood between member of Sadr's militia, called the Mahdi Army, and a local Sunni clan. By mid-afternoon, the fighting had killed four members of the Mahdi Army and two of the Ekidat clan.
Iraqi security forces backed by U.S. soldiers have surrounded the area, closing all entrances and exits, and residents reached by telephone said the fighting had subsided but that the situation was still tense."
8. And here, again, the entire US strategy is based on expecting...
someone else to meet impossible conditions. The quote from the sr. US military official in this excellently written McClatchey piece is just plain spooky.
snip> The recent assertion by U.S. soldiers here that Iraq is in a civil war is a stunning indication that American efforts to bring peace and democracy to Iraq are failing, more than three years after the toppling of dictator Saddam Hussein's regime. .... U.S. hopes for victory in Iraq hinge principally on two factors: Iraqi security forces becoming more competent and Iraqi political leaders persuading armed groups to lay down their weapons.
But neither seems to be happening. The violence has increased as Iraqi troops have been added, and feuding among the political leadership is intense. American soldiers, particularly the rank and file who go out on daily patrols, say they see no end to the bloodshed. Higher ranking officers concede that the developments are threatening to move beyond their grasp.
"There's no plan - we are constantly reacting," said a senior American military official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. "I have absolutely no idea what we're going to do."
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