Qaeda-Linked Group Claims Responsibility For Killing Of 9 G.I.'s

Qaeda-Linked Group Claims Responsibility For Killing Of 9 G.I.'s
April 25th, 2007  
Team Infidel

Topic: Qaeda-Linked Group Claims Responsibility For Killing Of 9 G.I.'s

Qaeda-Linked Group Claims Responsibility For Killing Of 9 G.I.'s
New York Times
April 25, 2007
By Edward Wong
BAGHDAD, April 24 — An insurgent umbrella group that includes Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia claimed responsibility on Tuesday for a suicide bombing the day before that killed nine American soldiers and wounded at least 20, one of the deadliest attacks against American forces in more than four years of war.
The soldiers were members of the Fifth Squadron, 73rd Cavalry of the Third Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division, military officials said. The squadron has been involved in a security push to clamp down on booming insurgent activity in Diyala Province, northeast of Baghdad.
In two Internet postings, the insurgent group, the Islamic State of Iraq, boasted of carrying out the attack. It said two suicide truck bombers had driven into an American base in the area of Al Waqf, according to a translation by the SITE Institute, which tracks extremist postings. The details of the attack could not be independently confirmed.
Early Tuesday, the American military issued a statement saying the bombing had hit a small outpost. In recent weeks the Fifth Squadron has been conducting operations in downtrodden villages northeast of Baquba, the provincial capital.
The Islamic State of Iraq recently announced the creation of a “cabinet” within its group, and it said Tuesday that its Ministry of War, led by Abu Hamza al-Muhajir, had planned the attack.
“Let the enemy expect more from the ministry, with power and might from the glorified God,” the group said. “The suicide brigades are continually increasing, and so are the ‘intruding brigades.’ ”
Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia was once highly active in Anbar Province, a Sunni Arab bastion, but has recently fallen out with many of the powerful tribes that dominate the area. It appears now to have shifted much of its effort to Diyala Province, sandwiched between Baghdad and the Iranian border.
Diyala is a seething caldron of ethnic and sectarian tensions, with Sunni Arab militants driving Shiites from the provincial capital, Baquba, Iraqi Army units operating under a general loyal to a Shiite militia and Kurds slowly seizing cities in the north.
Caught in that web are the Americans, who have responded to the intensifying violence by adding a Stryker battalion. American fatalities in Diyala have skyrocketed in recent months, although American military officials say they have made strides in pacifying the area.
The Fifth Squadron, led by Lt. Col. Andrew Poppas, lost a lieutenant and a captain, both West Point graduates, last November when it fought with well-trained and well-disciplined insurgents for more than 40 hours in the village of Turki. The Americans called in more than 12 hours of airstrikes, and at least 72 insurgents were reported killed.
In Ramadi, in northern Iraq, on Tuesday, a suicide truck bomber killed at least nine people and wounded at least 25, some of them policemen, a police colonel said. On Monday two suicide bombers killed at least three people there and wounded 36 others, the American military reported.
In Baghdad on Tuesday, insurgents set off two car bombs in a parking lot opposite the Iranian Embassy, wounding four people. The Iraqi Army and the police sealed off the roads around the embassy, snarling traffic for miles.
A friend of the son of the Iraqi electricity minister was killed when a bomb exploded in the son’s locker in Baghdad University, an Interior Ministry official said. The son, Fadi Kareem Waheed, was wounded, along with two colleagues. Two concealed bombs exploded on Palestine Street in eastern Baghdad, killing at least two people and wounding at least nine others.
Sunni insurgents blew up a Shiite mosque in the Jihad neighborhood, but no one was injured.
In the town of Jaara, south of Baghdad, gunmen killed seven members of a Shiite family, four of them children, a police official said. At least seven Iraqis were killed in violence or discovered dead on Tuesday in Diyala Province.
The American military said a marine was killed Monday in combat in Anbar Province.
Qais Mizher contributed reporting from Baghdad, and an Iraqi employee of The New York Times from Baquba.

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