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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Things in Iraq may spark regional war

Does Joe still think things are going well in Iraq?
A civil war in Iraq could lead to a broader conflict in the Middle East, pitting the region's rival Islamic sects against each other, National Intelligence Director John Negroponte said in an unusually frank assessment Tuesday.

"If chaos were to descend upon Iraq or the forces of democracy were to be defeated in that country ... this would have implications for the rest of the Middle East region and, indeed, the world," Negroponte said at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on global threats.
If? I think we're beyond the point now.
Bombings in Baghdad killed 26 people and four others died when mortar rounds slammed into their homes in a nearby town Wednesday, the second day of surging violence after authorities lifted a curfew that briefly calmed sectarian attacks.


Wednesday's most serious attack — a car bomb near a traffic police office in a primarily Shiite neighborhood in southeast Baghdad — killed at least 23 people and wounded 58, according to police Lt. Thaer Mahmoud.

About an hour earlier, a bomb hidden under a car detonated as a police patrol passed near downtown Tahrir Square, said Interior Ministry Maj. Falah al-Mohammedawi. Three civilians died and 15 were wounded.

North of Baghdad, gunmen ambushed a police convoy, killing an unspecified number of officers and abducting another 10, police said. Four officers were seriously wounded.

The convoy of five minibuses was returning from a training session in Sulaimaniyah when it was attacked about 45 miles northeast of Tikrit, police Capt. Hakim al-Azzawi said.

The assailants drove off in one of the minibuses.

In the eastern suburb Kamaliyah, residents alerted police to a suspicious vehicle, which exploded as police cleared the area, causing damage to nearby shops and houses but no casualties, al-Mohammedawi.

Also Wednesday, mortar shells fell on three houses in the mixed Sunni-Shiite town of Mahmoudiya, 20 miles south of Baghdad, killing three civilians, police Capt. Rashid al-Samaraie said. A fifth mortar shell slammed into the mixed Qadisiyah neighborhood in west Baghdad, killing a woman and wounding a child, Mahmoud said.

Iraq began to tilt seriously toward outright civil war after the Feb. 22 bombing of the revered Shiite Askariya shrine in the mainly Sunni city of Samarra, 60 miles north of Baghdad.

The government said 379 people had been killed and 458 injured as of Tuesday afternoon in nearly a week of sectarian violence tied to the Askariya bombing. Another 30 died Wednesday.

Yeah Joe, things are going well.

Two words: Ned Lamont