Insurgents step up their attacks in Baghdad and other Iraqi

Team Infidel

Forum Spin Doctor
Insurgents step up their attacks in Baghdad and other Iraqi cities

By THOMAS WAGNER - Associated Press Writer
BAGHDAD, Iraq - (AP) Stepped-up attacks by insurgents over the
last two days have killed at least 44 Iraqis, including 12 laborers _ five
of them brothers _ who were gunned down at a construction site, police said
In addition, the bodies of eight Iraqis who apparently were
kidnapped and killed in captivity, were found in the capital on Monday,
police said.
Meanwhile, the toll among American service members in the Iraq war
also was approaching 2,000 dead. At least 1,996 members of the U.S. military
have died since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003, according to an
Associated Press count.
Monday's worst attack occurred in the Saydiyah area of southwestern
Baghdad when suspected insurgents opened fire at two civilian cars, killing
three of the municipal workers they were carrying and an Iraqi passer-by,
said police Capt. Talib Thamir.
A suicide car bomber killed two Iraqis and wounded five in an attack
on a police patrol in the northeastern neighborhood of Shaab, where
insurgents had kidnapped and murdered a defense lawyer in Saddam Hussein's
trial last week, said police Lt. Malik Sultan.
Insurgents opened fire on an Iraqi army checkpoint in western
Baghdad, killing a soldier and a girl who was standing in front of her
nearby house, said police 1st. Lt. Thaeir Mahmod.
In two other attacks in the capital, a drive-by shooting killed one
policeman and two others were wounded by a roadside bomb, authorities said.
In Kirkuk, 290 kilometers (180 miles) north of Baghdad, a roadside
bomb exploded at 8:30 a.m. near a car carrying Ibrahim Zangana, a senior
member of Iraq's Kurdish Democratic Party, seriously wounding him, killing
one of his bodyguards and injuring another one, said Brig. Gen. Sarhat
Qadir, the commander of Kirkuk's police force.
A drive-by shooting in Mosul, 360 kilometers (225 miles) northwest
of Baghdad, killed a policeman.
On Sunday, more than 33 Iraqis died in a swell of violence in Iraq,
including 12 laborers, five of them brothers, who were gunned down by
insurgents at a construction site outside the city of Hillah, about 95
kilometers (60 miles) south of Baghdad, police said.
With high unemployment in Iraq, men often travel long distances from
their homes to find jobs as day laborers in cities.
The corpses of eight Iraqis _ five men and three women _ also were
found in three different areas of Baghdad on Monday morning, police said.
All of them apparently had been kidnapped, tied up or handcuffed, and shot
to death.
Insurgents also fired mortar rounds that set fire to an oil pipeline
in northern Iraq and wounded two nearby Iraqi soldiers, said soldier Hussein
Ghadban Al Ubaidi. The pipeline is located in a village about 40 kilometers
(25 miles) north of Beiji city. It is one of many that link an oil field in
Kirkuk city to Iraq's largest oil refinery in Beiji. Such attacks on Iraq's
beleaguered oil industry in the north are common.
Shaab, where the suicide car bomb exploded on Monday, is the area of
Baghdad where 10 gunmen wearing police and military uniforms on Thursday
kidnapped Sunni Arab Saadoun Sughaiyer al-Janabi, one of the defense lawyers
in the trial of ousted dictator Saddam Hussein and seven former officials
from his Sunni-dominated regime.
Al-Janabi _ the lawyer for Awad Hamed al-Bandar, the former head of
Saddam's Revolutionary Court _ was taken from his office in the Shaab area,
and hours later his tortured and bullet-ridden body was found on a sidewalk
by the Fardous Mosque in the nearby Ur neighborhood.
The 12 remaining Saddam trial defense lawyers have since rejected an
offer from the Interior Ministry for better security, demanding protection
from American officials instead.
Also Sunday, investigative judges took testimony from the first
witness in the Saddam mass murder trial regarding the 1982 massacre of 148
Shiites in the town of Dujail.
The judges went to a military hospital to take the deposition from
Wadah Ismail al-Sheik, a cancer patient who was director of the
investigation department at Saddam's feared Mukhabarat intelligence agency
at the time of the Dujail massacre. Al-Sheik is too sick to appear in court,
and officials did not want to wait until the trial resumes Nov. 28 to get
his testimony.
In another development, the U.S. military on Sunday confirmed that
four American contract workers were killed and two wounded in Iraq last
month when their convoy got lost.
The attack occurred on Sept. 20 when the convoy, which included U.S.
military guards riding in Humvees, made a wrong turn into the mostly Sunni
Arab town of Duluiyah, 45 miles (70 kilometers) north of Baghdad.
Insurgents opened fire with rifles and rocket-propelled grenades,
Maj. Richard Goldenberg, a spokesman for Task Force Liberty in north-central
Iraq, told The Associated Press.
Alerted of the attack, a quick reaction team went to the scene,
finding all four Americans still in their vehicles with bullet wounds, one
of them burned from a fire in the vehicle. One was still alive but died
later of his wounds, the military said. Two others were wounded and survived
the attack.
Three of the dead worked for Houston-based Halliburton Co.'s KBR
subsidiary, the biggest U.S. military contractor in Iraq. It was not clear
who the fourth slain American worked for.