Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Iraq Violence Continues, Afghanistan To Follow?

The civil war in Iraq continues:

BAGHDAD, Feb. 28 -- Explosions in Baghdad killed more than 40 people Tuesday, police and witnesses said, as the spate of violence that began with the bombing of a revered Shiite mosque last week continued.

The deadliest blast came in the eastern neighborhood of New Baghdad, where a suicide car bomber drove a blue sedan packed with explosives into a crowded marketplace, detonating it among a crowd of laborers. Police Gen Muhammed Timimi said 22 people were killed and 36 others wounded.


In the northern sections of the city, authorities said about 15 people were killed in two explosions that came shortly after sundown, the Associated Press reported. Police sad a car bomb or mortar hit the Abdel Hadi Chalabi mosque in the Hurriyah neighborhood, killing 14 and wounding more than 60. The Imam Kadhim shrine in the Kazimiyah area was hit by a mortar and one person was killed and 10 others hurt.

Another car bomb in the mostly Shiite Muslim neighborhood of Karrada killed two people and wounded four, while a third in Amin, southwest of downtown, killed two and wounded six, according to Maj. Muhammed Sultan, a spokesman for Iraq's Interior Ministry.

Reuters news agency photographer Ali Jassem counted at least 10 dead bodies after the Karrada blast.

Walter Pincus in the Washington Post reports that the Director of the Defnese Intelligence Agency told a Congressional committee yesterday that the insurgency in Afghanistan is steadily growing and will become a bigger and bigger problem in the future:

The director of the Defense Intelligence Agency told Congress yesterday that the insurgency in Afghanistan is growing and will increase this spring, presenting a greater threat to the central government's expansion of authority "than at any point since late 2001."

"Despite significant progress on the political front, the Taliban-dominated insurgency remains a capable and resilient threat," Lt. Gen. Michael D. Maples said in a statement presented to the Senate Armed Services Committee at its annual hearing on national security threats.

Appearing with Director of National Intelligence John D. Negroponte, Maples said attacks within Afghanistan were up 20 percent between 2004 and 2005, suicide bombings increased "almost fourfold" and use of makeshift bombs, similar to those used in Iraq, had "more than doubled."

Gee, I'm feeling really confident about the future.

Here's hoping Jeb runs for preznit...

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