Clear47° WeatherClear47° Weather

U.S. touts dip in violence on a day 22 killed in Iraq

Family reunion Staff Sgt. Shawn Lucas greets his wife, Deanna, daughter Abigail, 16 months, and son, Bradley, 4, on Sunday in Tulsa, Okla., after an eight-month tour of duty in Iraq.

Associated Press

Family reunion Staff Sgt. Shawn Lucas greets his wife, Deanna, daughter Abigail, 16 months, and son, Bradley, 4, on Sunday in Tulsa, Okla., after an eight-month tour of duty in Iraq.

BAGHDAD — On the same day that military spokesmen gave a rare briefing in Baghdad to announce a continued drop in overall violence, insurgents killed at least 22 people in eight attacks in Mosul and Fallujah on Sunday, using roadside bombs, drive-by shootings, suicide bombers and execution-style killings, police officials said.

One of the dead was a 2-month-old baby whose house in Fallujah was hit by a hand grenade, which also wounded his parents and another child, a police official said.

In Mosul, a group of insurgents surrounded the home of two officers of the National Police, shot it up, then entered it and killed them, said a police official at the Nineveh province operations center.

Baghdad was calm, however, after a series of suicide bombings over the past 90 days.

At a briefing in the new and seldom-used media center in Camp Prosperity, the main U.S. base in central Baghdad, Maj. Gen. Qassim Atta, spokesman for the Iraqi security forces in Baghdad, and Maj. Gen. David Perkins, top spokesman for the U.S. military in Iraq, both emphasized that the recent increase in spectacular attacks nonetheless runs contrary to the overall trend, which they described as fewer and less effective attacks.

"We have not witnessed a direct confrontation since 2007 on Iraqi security forces," Atta said. He put the current frequency of attacks at 20 to 25 a week, compared with 450 a week at the height of the violence in 2007.

Perkins, while acknowledging the surge in violence beginning in April, also said that May so far had half as many attacks. "From a macro point of view, the attacks trend down," he said.

The deadliest attack Sunday came in the northern city of Mosul, one of the few remaining strongholds of al-Qaida in Mesopotamia, a largely Iraqi group with some foreign leadership.

A suicide bomber in a van packed with explosives appeared to be aiming at an American patrol but detonated the bomb after the patrol had moved out of range, the police official said. The blast, in the Dawasa Kharij neighborhood, killed eight people and wounded 26, some of them critically.

Also in Iraq

Bombing arrest: The U.S. military announced the arrest Saturday in Baghdad of a suspected female ringleader of a group believed responsible for recruiting women to be suicide bombers.

New leader: Sunni Vice President Tarek al-Hashemi stepped down as leader of the Iraqi Islamic Party and was replaced by Osama Tawfiq al-Tikriti, the party announced. Parliament speaker Ayad al-Sammaraie was chosen deputy party leader. An official said the party wanted new faces to help restore its image. The party was embarrassed this month when the imprisoned leader of an al-Qaida front group said in a televised confession that the terror movement had ties with some members of the party.

Associated Press

U.S. touts dip in violence on a day 22 killed in Iraq 05/24/09 [Last modified: Monday, November 7, 2011 4:50pm]

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press Writer.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...