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Iraq | International | Front Page

Thu Aug 16 2007 As US Surges, Iraq Suffers
Hundreds Die In Sectarian Bombings On Thursday August 16th, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki announced a new coalition that will govern Iraq. The alliance contains no Sunnis and resulted from the resignation of five ministers from to the Iraqi Accordance Front (IAF) on the previous Wednesday.

Amid the political chaos and lack of cooperation between Sunnis and Shia, violence is getting worse.

On Wednesday August 15th 4 car bombs killed over 200 people and wounded many more in the Northern Iraqi villages of of Al-Khataniyah and Al-Adnaniyah. The targeted villages were inhabited by Kurdish Yazidis, who have for years faced persecution for their pre-Islamic beliefs. Tensions between Yazidis and local Muslims has grown since a Yazidi woman was filmed being stoned to death by her community in April for trying to marry a Sunni man. The death toll from Wednesdays's car bombings may rise to 500, which would make them by far the deadliest bombings since the US occupation began.

On Tuesday, August 14th, a bridge linking Baghdad to northern Iraq collapsed when a bomber detonated an explosives-rigged vehicle at a central section. Over ten people were killed as their cars plummeted into the water. Also on Tuesday,"more than 50 gunmen dressed in Iraqi security forces uniforms and using 17 official vehicles broke into an Oil Ministry compound in eastern Baghdad Tuesday and abducted a senior deputy of the oil minister, and four other officials".

On August 11th, a roadside bomb killed the governor and police chief of the southern Iraqi province of Qadisiya.

US troops levels are currently ramped up as part of a "surge" that the US had advertised as a way to reduce violence and help bring about political stability. The US military has announced a new offensive against what it claims to be “Iranian-supported extremist elements” within Iraq’s Shiite population and the White House has leaked reports that it plans to classify a branch of the Iranian military as a terrorist group. Iraqi's ruling SCIRI party has a militia called the Badr Brigade that was trained and supplied by Iran before the fall of Saddam , but it is more likely the US is referring to the Sadrist movement, which was fully Iraqi in origin.

Day 1567 in Iraq | Thousands of Sadrists Protest Arrests | Iraqi Politics in Tatters, One Month Before Report | Four US Troops Killed PKK Threatens Iraq, Turkey | Iraqi women: Prostituting ourselves to feed our children | Four British soldiers killed in Basra | Why Soldiers aren't Terrorists: Escalation with Iran

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