“There’s still a tendency to see these things in Sunni-Shia terms. But the Middle East is going to have to overcome that.” – Condoleezza Rice, January 2007.
Hope you brought something to read while you wait. Four years later, the Sunni-Shi’ite case of mutual Islamophobia continues — a major aspect of life in Iraq that was grossly underestimated prior to the war based on faith in what turned out to be a very flimsy veneer of secularism, and in hopes that simply installing a democracy would override centuries-old habits. It should be a cautionary tale.
“Suicide bomber kills 28 and wounds dozens in Iraq,” by Sabah al-Bazee for the Associated Press, February 12 (thanks to all who sent this in):
SAMARRA, Iraq (Reuters) – A suicide bomber targeting Shi’ite pilgrims killed at least 28 people and wounded dozens near the northern Iraqi city of Samarra on Saturday, the deputy governor of Salahuddin province said.
The attack was the second suicide bombing this week near Samarra, where Shi’ite pilgrims are commemorating the death of one of their 12 revered imams, and followed a series of recent attacks by insurgents as U.S. troops prepare to fully withdraw.
“It was a suicide bomber wearing an explosives vest. An Iraqi soldier at the south entrance of Samarra tried to stop him but he immediately blew himself up near a bus terminal filled with pilgrims,” Ahmed Abdul-Jabbar, deputy governor of Salahuddin province told Reuters.
“We were informed by the military leadership of Samarra that 28 people were killed and more than 20 wounded.”
A source in Samarra’s military operations said the attack was carried out by a suicide bomber wearing a vest laden with at least 10 kilograms of explosives.
Raed Ibrahim, head of the provincial health department, said the toll was 33 people killed and more than 50 wounded. A police source at Samarra hospital put the toll at 32 dead and 27 wounded, and said women and children were among the casualties.
Shi’ite pilgrims have been targeted frequently in recent years by a stubborn Sunni insurgency which is still capable of carrying out lethal attacks almost eight years after the U.S.-led invasion that toppled Sunni dictator Saddam Hussein.
U.S. troops are expected to withdraw by the end of the year….