Insurgents Kill 8 in Attacks Across Iraq
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Insurgents Kill 8 in Attacks Across Iraq

Associated Press | July 18, 2005
By ANTONIO CASTANEDA

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Insurgents killed eight police and government workers in seven separate shootings across central Iraq, while the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff said Monday the recent wave of suicide bombings won't derail Iraq's progress toward democracy.

Gunmen killed four police officers, including a colonel, in three attacks in southern and eastern Baghdad, police and hospital officials said. Another policeman was killed in a shootout between insurgents and security forces just north of Baghdad in Taji, police said.

A police colonel was killed while driving his car in Samarra, 60 miles north of the capital, according to police Capt. Laith Mohammed.

In a visit to Berlin, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Richard Myers, said a recent spike in suicide bombings in Iraq wouldn't derail the drafting of a new constitution or progress toward democracy. But he warned of more violence ahead.

"Every major milestone has been met. That will continue, in my belief, to happen," Myers said.

Insurgents also attacked government employees Monday, killing a worker for the Iraqi Trade Minister in the southern neighborhood of Dora, Dr. Muhanad Jawad of the Yarmouk hospital said. A municipal worker was also killed and another wounded in a drive-by shooting on a highway between the cities of Samarra and Balad north of Baghdad, police Capt. Laith Mohammed said.

U.S. forces said Monday they killed four insurgents preparing to launch mortars in the troubled northern city of Tal Afar. A fifth suspected insurgent in the Mosul area was killed by U.S. troops in northern Iraq during a raid.

U.S. and Iraqi forces seized a large weapons cache Monday in the northern city of Mosul, including over 1,000 mortar rounds, 450 rocket propelled grenade rounds, and 150 rockets, the military said.

Al-Qaida in Iraq reported Monday that one of its "field commanders" had been killed by coalition forces in western Iraq, the terror group purportedly said in a statement posted on a Web site used by militants. The statement did not say when the man, Abi Salih al-Ansar, was killed.

In Jordan, Iraqi Planning Minister Barham Salih told an international donors' meeting Monday his country should be in charge of reconstruction efforts instead of foreign donors.

"Iraq must be in the driving seat," said Salih at the meeting designed to review a reconstruction checklist.

The government said Monday a stolen fuel tanker was used in a suicide attack last week that killed more than 90 people in Musayyib, 40 miles south of Baghdad.

The truck was stolen by insurgents two days before the attack, an Oil Ministry spokesman said. However, there were conflicting accounts of the attack: most witnesses said a fuel tanker was moving slowly in the center of the town when the blast occurred, but a tanker truck in the area was mostly intact Sunday.

In southern Baghdad, Iraqi police found the body of an unidentified man with multiple gunshot wounds dumped on a highway, police 1st Lt. Thaer Mahmoud said.

Iraq's most powerful Shiite clergyman, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, is deeply upset by the upsurge in suicide attacks, said Vice President Adil Abdul-Mahdi, a top Shiite politician, after meeting with the cleric on Sunday.

The cleric urged the government to protect the people in "this genocidal war," Abdul-Mahdi said. At least 170 people have been killed in suicide bombings throughout Iraq in the past week.

In a BBC interview scheduled for broadcast Monday, radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr said the continuing violence in Iraq was based in part on the presence of U.S. and other foreign forces.

"The occupation in itself is a problem," said al-Sadr, who led an uprising against U.S. forces last year. "Iraq not being independent is the problem. And the other problems stem from that - from sectarianism to civil war, the entire American presence causes this."


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