Thursday, June 28, 2007
BAGHDAD, June 28 -- A massive car bomb exploded at a street-side bus depot during Baghdad's Thursday morning rush hour, killing at least 22 people and wounding more than 40 others in a tremendous explosion that set fire to scores of vehicles, Iraqi police said.
The attack followed a late-night car bombing on Wednesday that killed at least 14 people near a major Shiite shrine in the Kadhimiya neighborhood in northern Baghdad, police reported.
Elsewhere, local residents found 20 headless bodies Thursday on the banks of the Tigris River in al-Mada'in, about 15 miles south of the capital, news agencies reported. A day earlier, 21 bodies were found in Baghdad, police said.
The violence is also causing American deaths. U.S. military officials said a soldier was killed during combat operations Wednesday when a roadside bomb exploded near his vehicle in eastern Baghdad. Four soldiers were injured. On Tuesday, a Marine was killed in combat in al-Anbar Province west of the capital, the military reported Wednesday.
Those deaths brought to 92 the number of U.S. troops killed so far in June. There have been 322 U.S. casualties in Iraq since the beginning of April, making the last three months the most deadly period for U.S. forces since the war began in March 2003.
Icasualties.org lists 94 Americans and 7 Brits killed in Iraq for the month.
Guess not much has changed.
Except for the body count.
UPDATE: Remember the old "We'll stand down when the Iraqi security forces stand up" meme from a while back. Well, the Iraqi security forces still aren't standing up:
WASHINGTON -- After spending $19 billion to train and equip 346,500 Iraqi security forces, the Pentagon doesn't know how many of them are on the job or whether their weapons have been stolen or turned against American forces, according to a bipartisan congressional report that was released Wednesday.
It found that Iraqi security forces aren't ready to take full responsibility for their country's security and the central government of Iraq isn't capable of funding and guiding them. It demands that the Pentagon do a better job of accounting for the Iraqis it's trained and equipped.
"What we have found has been a lot of disappointment," said Rep. Martin Meehan, D-Mass. The Iraqi forces are "nowhere near ready to operate independently."
Gee, what abundant progress we are making in this war.
Will the Iraqi security forces be ready to stand up by the time Jenna Bush is in her second term (after Hillary enjoys double duty, of course)?