Thursday, July 20, 2006

Iraq in trouble

Has the mainstream media covered this enough?

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's top Shiite cleric urged his followers Thursday to refrain from reprisal violence against Sunnis, his strongest call yet for an end to increasing sectarian bloodshed that threatens to erupt into full-scale civil war.
The statement by Grand Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani came as U.S. military officials reported a 40% increase in the daily average of attacks in the Baghdad area.

U.S. spokesman Maj. Gen. William Caldwell said there has been an average of 34 attacks a day against U.S. and Iraqi forces in the capital over the past five days. The daily average for the period June 14 until July 13 was 24 a day, he said.

"We have not witnessed the reduction in violence one would have hoped for in a perfect world," Caldwell said at a news briefing Thursday. "The only way we're going to be successful in Baghdad is to get the weapons off the streets."
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Tens of thousands of Iraqis have fled their homes in fear as sectarian violence has turned ever more bitter since a U.S.-backed national unity government was formed two months ago, official data showed on Thursday.
Los Angeles Times:
BAGHDAD — Gunmen in the uniforms of Iraq's Shiite-dominated police commandos set up a checkpoint north of the capital and kidnapped 10 employees of the main Sunni religious foundation Wednesday, the latest attack in a growing sectarian war.

Iraqi officials said the employees of the Sunni Waqf endowment were in a minibus heading home to the Taji area when they were stopped by men wearing black uniforms and traveling in sport utility vehicles apparently from the Interior Ministry.


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