Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Each attack produces more radicals

The Christian Science Monitor:
If last Thursday's attack proves to be another landmark event that drives Iraq further into civil war, it will complicate even more the American military exit strategy.

"We can compare it to the Hiroshima bomb," says a Sadr City water-department chief, who gave only his nickname, Abu Khadhim. Appeals from anti-US cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, coupled with a three-day lockdown in Baghdad, have checked violence so far.

Expectations of more heavy attacks Monday as the curfew lifted turned to tentative relief when few incidents were reported. These included gunmen shooting on a busy street, killing six.

"Without Moqtada's statement, the [2.5 million] people in Sadr City would go [and] destroy all Sunni neighborhoods," says Abu Khadhim. "If [Shiite clerics] declared war, like [Sunni cleric] Harith al-Dari, then there would be no more Sunnis left in Baghdad. All would be thrown into the Tigris River."
The Los Angeles Times:
BAGHDAD — Retaliatory attacks sparked by last week's massive bomb assault on a Shiite neighborhood here are driving more Iraqis into the ranks of sectarian militias amid rising distrust of government security forces, newly recruited gunmen and residents said Monday.

Besieged Iraqis, many with no previous affiliation with established militias, are taking up arms, barricading their communities and joining new Shiite Muslim militia cells or increasingly militant Sunni Arab neighborhood-watch groups.


Thousands of unsanctioned fighters have been on high alert since the car bombings Thursday in Sadr City, a poor Baghdad neighborhood that is home to the Al Mahdi militia, a Shiite force loyal to anti-U.S. cleric Muqtada Sadr.


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