Friday, July 09, 2010


Eight People Killed as Violence against Shiite Pilgrims Continues in Iraq
By Leila Fadel
The Washington Post, July 9, 2010
"At least seven people were killed in bombings targeting Shiite pilgrims in the Iraqi capital Thursday, and a pilgrim returning home on foot was shot dead outside the northern city of Kirkuk, on the third day of deadly violence by militants apparently intent on stoking sectarian tensions amid a months-long political stalemate. On Wednesday, a string of explosions in and around Baghdad killed more than 50 people and wounded more than 250. The deadliest was a suicide bombing aimed at Shiite pilgrims passing through the mostly Sunni neighborhood of Adhamiyah; more than 28 people were killed. Pilgrims were also targeted Tuesday, when at least seven were killed. The attacks on the Shiite community appeared intended to destabilize the country as politicians remain deadlocked on the formation of a new government, four months after national elections. Elected officials are occupied making backroom deals for top jobs, in sluggish negotiations that observers say are unlikely to be resolved soon. Violence has dropped significantly since the height of the sectarian war that flared out of control in 2006, but some worry it could rise again as the U.S. military draws down to 50,000 troops by Sept. 1. Last month, at least 135 people were killed in the capital alone. [...]"

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