Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Assassination Campaign

The NY Times is reporting that Sunni insurgents have launched a campaign against government officials in Iraq:

Eight policemen have been killed, among them the police chief of Baquba, the largest city in Diyala Province. Two other police chiefs survived attacks, though one was left in critical condition, and about 30 police officers were wounded, according to reports from local security officers.

In addition to the attack on Monday in Diyala, insurgents struck in Basra, Mosul, Kirkuk, Falluja, Kut and Samarra. The strikes occurred primarily in mixed areas of Shiites and Sunni Arabs or in exclusively Sunni Arab areas where there is fighting between Sunni Arab tribes and extremist groups like Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia. Each attack on its own would hardly be notable, since almost every day in Iraq brings a few roadside bombings and shootings, but so many attacks singling out similar victims suggest a more concerted campaign.

According to the article, the Islamic State of Iraq took credit for the Diyala bombing. On September 15th the alleged leader of the group, Abu Abdullah al-Rashid al-Baghdadi (who may or may not exist depending on what source you rely on) announced their intentions to conduct an assassination campaign. The announcement came two days after a bomb killed the leader of the Anbar Salvation Council, Abdul Sattar Abu Risha. The bombing has been blamed on Al Qaeda in Iraq, though to my knowledge no one has yet claimed credit for the attack. I have not yet seen any reports that link his death to the assassination campaign now underway.

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