Update [2005-9-29 11:10AM PST by Oui]:
Q. – Major defeat for insurgents?
Al-Qaida in Iraq issued an Internet statement denying that Abu Azzam was its deputy leader, calling him “one of al-Qaida’s many soldiers” and “the leader of one its battalions operating in Baghdad.” The US-led coalition however, called Abu Azzam the mastermind of escalation in suicide bombings, that have killed nearly 700 people in Baghdad since April.
“We can expect they’ll do everything in their power to try to stop the march of freedom,” Bush said. “And our troops are ready for it”.
A. – Iraq :: Balad 3-car bombs 85 killed & 110 wounded!
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An Iraqi woman cries while waiting for news about a relative wounded in a Baghdad shooting. Since Sunday, at least 89 people - including seven U.S. service members - have been killed in attacks in Iraq. AP Photo/Karim Kadim
BAGHDAD (AFP) – At least 85 people were killed and more than 110 wounded when three car bombs exploded within minutes of each other in the mainly Shiite central Iraqi town of Balad, police said.
Thirty-five women and 22 children were among the dead, said Lieutenant Colonel Adel Abdallah of the Balad police.
Fifty of those hurt were rushed to a nearby US military base, an interior ministry official said.
More to follow below the fold »»
Balad – 3 Suicide Car Bombs Killed 60 People and Wounded over 70
CBS/AP Sept. 29 — A roadside bomb killed five American soldiers Wednesday during combat in the western town of Ramadi, the military said. It was the deadliest single attack on U.S. troops since a roadside bomb killed 14 Marines near Haditha in western Iraq on Aug. 3.
The five dead Americans were assigned to the 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force and were hit while “conducting combat operations” in the insurgent hotbed, a statement by the Marines said.
The deaths brought to 13 the number of U.S. troops killed in Iraq in the past four days. According to an Associated Press count, 1,934 U.S. troops have died since the war started in 2003.
COORDINATED SUICIDE CAR BOMB EXPLOSIONS
And continuing a week-long spate of violence, three suicide car bombs exploded nearly simultaneously this evening in a city north of Baghdad, killing at least 60 people and wounding approximately 70, a hospital official said.
The attacks at about 6:45 p.m. hit a bank, a vegetable market and another location in downtown Balad, a mostly Shiite city 50 miles north of the capital, witnesses said.
Dr. Khaled al-Azawi at Balad Hospital said scores were wounded in the blasts, many of them seriously, with burns and mutilated limbs.
IN RELATED DEVELOPMENTS
A judge has ruled that pictures of detainee abuse at Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison must be released over U.S. government claims that they could damage America’s image.
A Pentagon analyst charged with providing classified information to an Israeli official and members of a pro-Israeli lobbying group AIPAC will plead guilty, according to the U.S. District Court clerk’s office. Lawrence A. Franklin, 58, of Kearneysville, W.Va., was indicted in June on charges of leaking classified materials — including information about potential attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq — to two members of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and an Israeli official.
U.S. troops could begin coming home from Iraq next year, but it depends on conditions during and after the upcoming elections there, the top U.S. commander in Iraq told Congress. The remarks by Gen. George Casey, along with similar comments he made a day before, represented a softening of his earlier assessment that a “fairly substantial” pullout could begin next spring and summer.
BAGHDAD, Iraq : 30 minutes ago — A suicide attacker detonated explosives amid a crowd of job applicants at an army recruitment center in northern Iraq, killing at least eight people and wounding 37, police said.
The attacker had the explosives hidden beneath her clothes and struck in Tal Afar, about 95 miles east of the Syrian border and 260 miles northwest of Baghdad, police Brig. Saeed Ahmed Al-Jibori said.
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"Tal Afar is an amazing place - when I visited in June (2004) to do research for the book, I found there were no hotels. Imagine, a city of 400,000 people, with not one hotel! It's a closed little corner of northern Iraq, the place that time forgot."
U.S.-led coalition forces routed insurgents from Tal Afar in a major offensive Sept. 8-12, killing nearly 200 suspected militants and capturing 315, Iraq’s military said.
That prompted Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the Jordanian-born, Sunni Arab leader of the al-Qaida in Iraq insurgent group, to declare all-out war on Iraq’s majority Shiites.
Later, al-Zarqawi issued a qualifier, exempting certain groups, including followers of Muqtada al-Sadr, the renegade Shiite cleric based in the holy city of Najaf.
[Minor edits and links added – Oui]
Suicide Attack Northern Iraq – #2 man Abdullah Abu Azzam Killed in Baghdad – Execution 5 School Teachers
By Sayed Salahuddin – 30 minutes ago –
KABUL (Reuters) — At least 12 people were killed and 29 wounded when a suicide bomber dressed in an army uniform rammed a motorcycle into a convoy of buses carrying Afghan army officers in the capital Kabul.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack at the Kabul Military Training Center, set up by U.S.-led forces to train a new national army, and said more could be expected.
It was the bloodiest of several suicide attacks in Kabul since U.S.-led forces overthrew the Taliban in late 2001 and came just 10 days after landmark parliamentary elections, which passed off relatively peacefully despite militant threats.
An Afghan intelligence official said at least 12 people died, most of them army officers, but he did not know if this figure included the bomber. The officer, who did not want to be identified, said some of the wounded were in critical condition.
Defense Ministry spokesman Zahir Azimi said earlier 10 people had been killed, including the bomber. Another ministry official said eight of the dead were soldiers and another a civilian.