As the march toward a stable, democratic Iraq proceeds apace. “Suicide bomber kills 8 in western Iraq,” by Qassim Abdul-Zahra for The Associated Press, March 3 (thanks to Twostellas):
BAGHDAD — A suicide bomber struck a group of soldiers collecting their paychecks Thursday in a western Iraqi city, killing eight people, police said.
Violence has dropped significantly from the bloody days of the insurgency, but al-Qaida-linked militants often target Iraqi security personnel because they are seen as allied with the Shiite-led government. The militants also want to intimidate new recruits to the security services.
A suicide bomber with explosives strapped to his chest walked up to a crowd of soldiers collecting their paychecks at a bank in Haditha, 140 miles (220 kilometers) northwest of Baghdad, said Waid Khalif, the deputy commander of the city’s police force….
Meanwhile, former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, who led a political coalition heavily supported by Iraq’s minority Sunnis, has turned down a position in the new government, a spokeswoman said. The step could further marginalize Sunnis….