Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Terrorist Insurgents Murder 150 Iraqis, "Declare War" on Shiites

This is the MSNBC account:
BAGHDAD, Iraq - After a dozen explosions ripped through the Iraqi capital Wednesday, al-Qaida's leader in Iraq purportedly declared all out war on Shiite Muslims, Iraqi troops and the country's government in an audio tape released on Internet.

Al-Qaida claimed responsibility for Wednesday's attacks, which killed at least 152 people and wounded 542, targeted at laborers assembled to find work for the day.
The American Forces Press Service provides a calmer, more detailed assessment:
Terrorists targeted an Iraqi police patrol in north Baghdad around 12:20 p.m., causing multiple casualties. Ten minutes later, a U.S. patrol was hit in central Baghdad. Two U.S. soldiers were injured in the attack.

Another U.S. patrol was attacked in south Baghdad at 1:10 p.m. One soldier was wounded in the incident. A U.S. explosive ordnance disposal team later discovered four 130 mm projectiles in the vehicle.

At 1:25 p.m., another vehicle-borne bomb targeted an Iraqi police checkpoint in central Baghdad, causing multiple civilian casualties.

While en route to the scene of that explosion, a U.S. EOD team was attacked by another vehicle bomb at 2:10 p.m. Five U.S. soldiers were wounded in the blast. Another U.S. unit was called to help secure the site at the police station and came under attack from small-arms fire, grenades and mortars.

Earlier in the day, Iraqi and U.S. forces responded to six different vehicle bomb attacks that killed scores of Iraqi civilians and wounded two U.S. soldiers and dozens of Iraqi civilians.
American Forces Press Service writer Gerry J. Gilmore also provides a motivation for the attacks in another dispatch:
WASHINGTON, Sept. 14, 2005 - Eighty percent of al Qaeda's network in northern Iraq "has been devastated" since January due to the capture or killing of key leaders and the outrage of Iraqi citizens, a U.S. troop commander told Pentagon reporters today.
Indeed, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi himself cites the hugely successful Tal Afar operation in his "Declaration of War" against Shiite Muslims:
The speaker on the tape, introduced as Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, also said his militant forces would attack any Iraqi it believes has cooperated with an ongoing U.S.-led offensive in the northern Iraqi city of Tal Afar.