Following yesterday‘s suicide bombing in Tuz Khormato that killed at least 25, another exceptionally lethal attack may suggest a new pattern in sectarian violence in Iraq. Sunni-Shi’ite Jihad Update from AP:
BAGHDAD, Iraq – Dozens of heavily armed attackers raided an open air market Monday in a tense town south of Baghdad, killing at least 41 people and wounding 42, police and hospital officials said.
Some reports put the death toll far higher. Most of the victims were believed to be Shiites.
The attack in Mahmoudiya began about 9 a.m. with a brief mortar barrage, followed by an armed assault by dozens of gunmen. They killed three Iraqi soldiers at a checkpoint, then stormed the market while firing automatic weapons and rocket propelled grenades, police Capt. Rashid al-Samaraie said.
The attack also sent shock waves through Mahmoudiya, an agricultural center with Shiites living in the town center and Sunnis in the outlying neighborhoods. Frantic relatives milled about the hospital, scuffling with guards and Iraqi soldiers who tried to keep order.
“You are strong men only when you face us, but you let them do what they did to us,” one man shouted at a guard.