Why would a suicide bomber in Iraq or anywhere else target non-combatants — in this case Defense Department workers? Because Islamic law allows for the killing of civilians, even women and children, if they are viewed as aiding the war effort. This is the justification behind the suicide attacks in buses and restaurants in Israel: not a few imams have declared that there are no civilians in Israel. And now in Iraq, a suicide bomber has killed both Iraqi and American civilians, probably with much the same justification in mind:
A suicide bomber detonated 1,000 pounds of explosives in a pickup truck outside the headquarters compound of the U.S.-led coalition Sunday, killing at least 18 bystanders, including two U.S. Defense Department workers, American officials said.
This from AP.
An Iraqi Governing Council spokesman, Hamid al-Kafai, said at least 20 people were killed and more than 60 were wounded.
U.S. Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt said there were “indications” that some those killed were American citizens. “We believe the current number to be at two,” he said. “We are awaiting confirmation.” . . .
The U.S. military press office initially said the 18 dead included 16 Iraqi civilians and two American civilians. The wounded included 22 Iraqi civilians, four civilians working for the Defense Department and two U.S. soldiers, the press office said.
But a military spokesman later said it was unclear whether the Defense Department casualties involved staff or contract workers.
UPDATE: A CNN story raises the death toll to 23.