A phenomenon we have seen across the Islamic world, and have noted here at Jihad Watch since the site’s inception nearly 7 years ago. And somehow, it keeps happening. “Attacks in Iraq Rise During Ramadan,” by Anthony Shadid for the New York Times, August 15:
BAGHDAD — Roadside bombs, booby-trapped cars and hit-and-run attacks reverberated across Iraq on Sunday, another violent day following insurgents’ threats to escalate their attacks during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
In the past two days, at least 19 people were killed in the attacks. While insurgents have sought to make dramatic gestures lately — raising their flag in prominent Baghdad neighborhoods and burning the bodies of policemen they have killed — more remarkable is the drumbeat of assaults day after day on Iraq’s security forces.
United States military officials have said insurgents are seeking to target the police as the American military withdraws troops in an attempt to undermine the police’s sometimes shaky standing with the public. In a statement before Ramadan, which began last week, insurgents vowed “to escalate their activities and further their strikes” during a month in which Muslims fast from dawn to dusk as a way to teach devotion, humility and sacrifice.
In one of the worst attacks on Sunday, assailants opened fire on worshippers leaving prayers at the Abid Wais mosque before dawn, killing three people and wounding two. The mosque is in Jurf al-Sakhr, a still-troubled region about 30 miles south of Baghdad.
In Baghdad, a booby-trapped bus exploded, killing three more people, and roadside mines in two other neighborhoods killed three civilians and two policemen. To the north, in Mosul, one of Iraq’s most dangerous cities, gunmen attacked an Iraqi army checkpoint, killing an Iraqi soldier and wounding another. In Baquba, east of Baghdad, a leader of an American-allied militia was killed when his booby-trapped car exploded.