Iraq Sectarian Strife Up After Rampage

Aftermath of bomb blast in Shiite area, Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, July 10, 2006. APTN

Gunmen ambushed a bus in a predominantly Sunni neighborhood in Baghdad on Monday, killing seven people, police said. The attack occurred in the western neighborhood of Amariyah in western Baghdad, as sectarian tensions rose following a rampage by Shiite gunmen killed 41 people, most of them Sunnis.

The gunmen killed all six passengers, including a woman, and the driver before setting the bus on fire, police Capt. Jamil Hussein said.

Meanwhile, two car bombs struck a Shiite district in Baghdad on Monday, killing at least eight people and wounding dozens, officials said, as sectarian tensions rose following a rampage by Shiite gunmen killed 41 people, most of them Sunnis.

The violence began when a car parked near a repair shop on the edge of the Shiite slum of Sadr City blew up, followed within minutes by a suicide car bomber who drove into the crowd that had gathered near the site.

Hospital officials said at least eight people were killed and 41 wounded in the blast. AP Television News footage showed the devastated repair shop with a crumpled roof and the blackened hulks of cars on the street outside.

A roadside bomb also struck a police patrol near a restaurant elsewhere in eastern Baghdad, wounding three policemen, police Lt. Ahmed Qassim said.

And a bomb exploded in the Shurja market in central Baghdad, killing three people and wounding 18, police Col. Adnan al-Obeidi said.

In Kirkuk, a suicide truck bomb struck an office of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, one of the main Kurdish political parties in Iraq, killing five people and wounding 12 others, police Brig. Sarhat Qadir said.

A police patrol in the predominantly Shiite city of Hillah, about 60 miles south of Baghdad, also hit a roadside bomb, leaving one policeman dead and four wounded, army Capt. Hassim al-Khafaji said.

In other developments:

  • The defense began closing arguments in the trial of Saddam Hussein on Monday, but most of the lawyers boycotted the court after the slaying of one of the former Iraqi leader's laywers last month. Meanwhile, CBS News correspondent Lee Cowan reports that U.S. experts have found powerful forensic evidence for the prosecution (video).

  • Two sergeants are among five American soldiers charged in the alleged rape-murder of a young Iraqi woman and the killing of three of her relatives, the U.S. military said Monday in releasing the identities of the suspects.

  • In Iraq, a fake ID could be the difference between life and death. The trade in bogus identification cards is booming since Sunnis and Shiites alike try to hide their heritage behind a different surname – and protect themselves from sectarian assault.

  • Gunmen forced a doctor out of his car in western Baghdad on Monday and killed him in front of his family.

  • A bomb struck a gas station in Mahmoudiya, south of Baghdad, wounding 10 people Monday.

  • Two bullet-riddled bodies were found in western Baghdad Monday. Police found five unidentified bodies in Suwayrah, 25 miles south of Baghdad. And the bodies of five men, including one whose mother was a former member of the ousted Baath Party and a policeman, also were found in Kut, 100 miles southeast of the capital Monday.

  • In the western city of Ramadi, a car bomb exploded next to a U.S. convoy, wounding four American soldiers, the military said. The attack occurred as the convoy headed to the government center in the city, an insurgent hotbed 70 miles west of Baghdad.
    • Joel Roberts

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