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February 5, 2007

121 Killed by Suicide Bomber in Baghdad

As many as 121 people were killed when a suicide bomber attacked a market in a
Shiite area of Baghdad on Saturday. The bomber drove a food-supply truck into a crowded, outdoor market and then detonated a ton of explosives.

The blast, which occurred sometime in the late afternoon, destroyed stores and market stalls. In addition to the 121 people killed, an additional 226 were wounded, according to police and hospital officials.

The attack was the latest in a series of attacks aimed at Shiite commercial areas in Baghdad. Though no group has claimed responsibility for the attacks, officials suspect that it was the work of Sunni insurgents.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki released a statement in which he blamed the attack on "Saddamists and taqfiris," which are Sunni extremists.

"The forces of terror and evil have united together against our dear Iraqi people," he said. "We were shocked today, and so were all Iraqis and honest people around the world by this despicable crime."

The death toll is expected to rise, according to Maj. Gen. Jihad al-Jabiri of the Interior Ministry. "There are still bodies under the rubble." Al-Jabiri said.

January 29, 2007

At Least 250 Insurgents Killed by Iraqi and U.S. Forces

Iraqi and U.S forces have killed at least 250 insurgents in the Shiite city of Najaf during heavy fighting on Sunday, according to an Iraqi interior ministry official. The insurgents killed were part of a group of about 600 gunmen who were stationed outside of the Shiite holy city.

According to officials the gunmen were planning to take control of Najaf and to kill Shia clerics including Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani.

During the fighting the gunmen fired a missile at a U.S helicopter causing it to crash just north of the city, killing two American soldiers, the U.S military said.

At least three Iraqi security forces were killed and 15 others wounded in Sunday’s fighting, Iraqi police Col. Ali Jraiwi said.

Heavy fighting still continues today in Najaf, which is located about 100 miles south of Baghdad.