Iraqi insurgency continues unabated, new hopes for a cabinet

Monday, April 25, 2005

Two car-rigged explosions in Baghdad killed 15 and injured nearly 40 people beside a Shiite Ahl al-Bait mosque Sunday. In Tikrit, 140km northeast of Baghdad, 6 were killed and nearly 26 injured in two suicide bombings. A car bomber drove into police assembled in an academy compound and detonated, then a second car bomber attacked a nearby army liaison office 20 minutes later.

In the Baghdad attack, the bombings took place in the western al-Shoulah district in front of an ice cream shop near the mosque. The first blast was followed within minutes by the second blast after witnesses to the first bomb rushed in to help survivors.

The anti-coalition insurgencies Sunday inflicted its heaviest toll since the national elections held January 30.

The violence, aimed mostly at Iraqi security forces and Shiite strongholds, is partly blamed on the struggling National Assembly's efforts to gain a consensus in forming a new government. The lack of leadership has led to appointments of police and security officials with no consent from the Interior Ministry, and is against the requirement of the law. The lack of authority diminishes Iraqi efforts to put down and pursue rebel forces.

Ahmed Chalabi, now-exiled, but a one time a seeker the Iraqi Prime Minister position himself and also a provider of US intelligence on weapons programs, said "We need a government immediately. The delay in forming a government has encouraged the terrorists."

By late Sunday, reports indicate Iraqi Prime Minister-designate Ibrahim al-Jaafari was ready to name a cabinet as early as today or Tuesday, but such hopes have gone unfulfilled in the past. Efforts to include candidates in contentious top cabinet posts with Sunni parliamentarians led by the former PM Iyad Allawi may be abandoned to speed filling the positions.

The dominant Shiite United Iraqi Alliance took 146 of the 275 seats in parliament, while the main Kurdish bloc took 77. To many, exclusion of the Sunni representatives in posts such as defense or interior minister, or either oil and finance minister, is untenable when they control 40 parliamentary seats.

Other reports Sunday include:

  • 30 wounded in car-rigged blast at police station in western Baghdad
  • 6 more arrests in last Tuesday’s downing of a Mi-8 helicopter
  • 3 insurgents killed when their bomb accidentally exploded south of Baghdad in Mahawil
  • 1 US soldier killed, 2 US soldiers and 2 civilians wounded in convoy attack in east Baghdad, several other US convoys were attacked Sunday
  • No one hurt in explosion near a US patrol in western Baghdad
  • Mishan al-Juburi, leader of the reconciliation and liberation bloc, survived a booby-trapped car bomb
  • 1 US sailor killed Saturday and announced today, when the Marine convoy he traveled with was attacked by a roadside bomb near Fallujah