Skip to comments.Iraqi Officials: Truck Bombings Killed At Least 500
Posted on 08/16/2007 6:07:40 AM PDT by JCG
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- The death toll in the suicide bombings Tuesday in northern Iraq has risen to at least 500, local officials in Nineveh province said Wednesday.
Iraqi Army and Mosul police sources earlier put the number at 260, but said it was likely to rise. 320 were reported wounded.
The Tuesday truck bombs that targeted the villages of Qahtaniya, al-Jazeera and Tal Uzair, in northern Iraq near the border with Syria, were a "trademark al Qaeda event" designed to sway U.S. public opinion against the war, a U.S. general said Wednesday.
The attacks, targeting Kurdish villages of the Yazidi religious minority, were attempts to "break the will" of the American people and show that the U.S. troop escalation -- the "surge" -- is failing, Maj. Gen. Benjamin Mixon said.
The bombings highlight the kind of sectarian tensions the troop surge was designed to stop.
Al Qaeda in Iraq is predominantly Sunni, and Mixon said members of the Yazidi religious minority have received threatening letters, called "night letters," telling them "to leave because they are infidels."
"This is an act of ethnic cleansing, if you will -- almost genocide when you consider the fact the target they attacked and the fact that these Yazidis, out in a very remote part of Nineveh province, where there is very little security and really no security required to this point," Mixon said.
Sunni militants, including members of al Qaeda in Iraq, have targeted Yazidis in the area before.
Brig. Gen. Abdul Karim Khalaf, an Interior Ministry spokesman, said there were three suicide trucks carrying two tons of explosives. At least 30 houses and other buildings were destroyed.
Khalaf said the carnage looks like the aftermath of a "mini-nuclear explosion." More bodies are expected to be found.
The U.S. military said there were five bombings -- four at a crowded bus station in Qahtaniya and a fifth in al-Jazeera.
The massacre comes ahead of next month's report to Congress by Gen. David Petraeus and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker on progress in Iraq.
"We still have a great deal of work to do against al Qaeda in Iraq, and we have great deal of work to do against al Qaeda networks in northern Iraq," Brig. Gen. Kevin Bergner, a Multi-National Force-Iraq spokesman, said Wednesday.
The office of Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki blamed Sunni extremists for the "monstrous crime." He said a committee has been formed to investigate.
Ashraf Qazi, the U.N. secretary-general's special representative for Iraq, called the attack an "abominable crime aimed at widening the sectarian and ethnic divide in Iraq."
Qazi urged Iraqi authorities to bolster their efforts to protect minorities.
The Yazidi sect is a mainly Kurdish minority, an ancient group that worships seven angels, in the form of peacocks, who are subordinate to the supreme god who created the universe.
A couple of related incidents in the spring highlighted the tensions between Sunnis and Yazidis.
In April, a Kurdish Yazidi teenage girl was brutally beaten, kicked and stoned to death in northern Iraq by other Yazidis in what authorities said was an "honor killing" after she was seen with a Sunni Muslim man. Although she had not married him or converted, her attackers believed she had.
The Yazidis condemn mixing with people of another faith.
That killing is said to have spurred the killings of about two dozen Yazidi men by Sunni Muslims in the Mosul area two weeks later.
Attackers affiliated with al Qaeda pulled 24 Yazidi men out of a bus and slaughtered them, according to a provincial official.
Lessee, Muslims kill Yazidis and Yazidis kill their own. Looks like a win for the rest of us.
Send treats to the troops...
Great because you did it!
In war, it’s never wise to underestimate the savagery of your opponents.
We don't need al Qaeda for that. We have Democrats.
That was one (horrible, nasty) incident. That doesn't mean they're all like that.
“That doesn’t mean they’re all like that”
Of course not... That sounds like the standard sycophant mantra
“Not all Muslims want to kill us, only 109674902 of them do”
But they weren't the target.
The target was the Democrat Surrender Caucus.
Make no mistake about that.
Have a great time on vacation.
And here's hoping the Iraqi authorities will hang everyone involved in the murder of that poor girl.
I'm still in the Middle East...but almost....almost out!
(For a couple of weeks, anyway...)
After five years of continuous failure in Iraq, don't you think that thread-bare rationalization for yet more failure is getting a little old?
There was some confusion yesterday, over the first bombing that Reuters quoted “Iraqi military officials” as saying had killed 175, but then someone said it was really only 30 or so. Is this report from that same source used by Reuters? Apparently, another news agency had picked up the Reuters story yesterday and was reporting that 175 number. There was some speculation that al Queda was putting out a press report, in the name of an “Iraqi military official”, and that it had inflated the number of dead by including the wounded.
I think many, if not most, Iraqis would disagree with that assessment.
Be careful with the numbers given by the Iraqis, they are always overestimated.
Wait for the US confirmation.
Polls of Iraqis consistently show that they want the U.S. out. Heck, even Maliki said so!
Have you seen the video of the stoning?
Youtube took down the unedited footage but this will give you an idea. They may not all be like this but I think that most are. This was a whole town event involving over a hundred people unfortunantely.
Aren't the Iraqi insurgents now siding with us against al Qaeda because of them killing innocent women and children? I would think this would only make things worst for al Qaeda.
This number 500 seems out of whack to me for some reason. Odd that we haven't seen pictures of this all over the MSM like we always do.
But that still doesn't mean they're all like that and they certainly did not deserve what happpened yesterday.
I live in Iraq. I will never, ever, ever condone anything al Qaeda does.
I strongly suspect that the number is inflated. Even the initial 250 number they announced didn't pass the smell test.
“This number 500 seems out of whack to me for some reason. Odd that we haven’t seen pictures of this all over the MSM like we always do.”
There HAVE been pictures of this up all morning on all the cable networks. It looks like a huge square of the city was flattened. (They showed pics from a helicopter) They are also showing pics from the hospital, and reporting that the dead are “stacked” up on the sidewalks waiting for a mass burial. FOX called around to hospitals- and they said there are over 300 injured in the 3 hospitals they called- with over 50% listed in critical condition. Since these hospitals have little to no drugs etc.. a good number of those will also die. It looks like this 400 number of dead is probably correct and will only go higher.
Are you French?
Glad to know these bastards have been killed yesterday
“Are you French?”
Look here for French for Bush : http://leblogdrzz.over-blog.com
While no group of any people is “all alike” I have been troubled by that video. It’s a real challenge to overcome the revulsion one feels after watching. That said, I agree with you - whether they are all like that or not does not justify a cowardly truck bomb being placed in their midst.
This attack may change their minds. Since it occurred in an area where there are very few, if any, Americans at all, it may give the Iraqis who want us out a taste of what would happen if we just packed up and left.
Neither will I but it wasn't AQ that stoned that poor girl to death. That was rank and file members of the Religion of Peace.
Not all Yazidis practice that barbaric crap. I get tired of the "tarring with the same brush" syndrome you see so often here on FR.
I vehemently do not condone al Qaeda'a actions.
Every car bomb is a conduit directly to the America-haters to apply more pressure to declare the war loss.
Granted. But enough of them are apparently willing to tolerate it so that large numbers of their brethren don't seem to fear the consequences of stoning a young girl to death publicly.
I get tired of the "tarring with the same brush" syndrome you see so often here on FR.
That would die down a lot faster if a few village elders and clan chiefs made it clear that the old ways are gone and that these mohamedens had better start living up to that 'peaceful religion' claptrap they keep telling me about.
I vehemently do not condone al Qaeda'a actions.
I never said you did and I certainly don't either.
The only thing that's justified is speedy arrest, trials, convictions, and hangings of everyone involved in that poor girls death.
Source of that information?
Why is it odd that you haven’t seen video of this? Do you actually think journalists all over the country and not holed up in the Green Zone.
Terrorists can do this any time they want regardless how seriously 95% of the population is really tired of this. It would not be a valid indicator of how the war is going.
I'm far too buoyant to get bogged down in some pointless argument about semantics.
I made my point and I made it clearly. Those who want to skew my remarks just for the sake of argument, have at it. I'm not going to play.
I'm taking a break from the war.
All the wars.
I will now return to my levity and disengagement.
Hoist a pint or two for me.
I bid you a pleasant day.
I have seen your page before. I’m sorry my French Friend. I put my foot in my mouth!
It would be non-alcoholic from Kuwait.
It will have to wait until I have ventured a little farther west.
I thought you were heading for London? Oh well, where ever you are I have no doubt that that is the place to be.
Have a safe trip.
I am. Can't get there directly from Iraq. I had to stay here for 24-48 hours due to the visa process. On my way out in less than 24 hours.
I’m sure they’d love to have their country back to themselves, however, I’m sure they also understand that they have a lot more work to do before they can take that on. They don’t hate America; they just want their lives returned to some semblance of normal.
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