38 killed, dozens wounded in surge of attacks in Iraq

Iraqi politician, civilians, police and contractors among rebels' targets

June 03, 2005|By Aamer Madhani | Aamer Madhani,CHICAGO TRIBUNE

BAGHDAD, Iraq - With car bombings and ambushes that stretched from south of the Iraqi capital to the northern city of Mosul, insurgents launched a barrage of attacks that killed at least 38 people and wounded dozens in less than 24 hours.

The targets late Wednesday and yesterday included civilians, security forces and a politician. The attacks began with three carloads of gunmen racing through a busy Baghdad marketplace Wednesday night and firing indiscriminately. Nine people were killed, an Interior Ministry spokesman said.

The deadliest attack came just before 8 a.m. yesterday when a suicide car bomber drove into a crowded restaurant in Tuz Khormato, 50 miles south of Kirkuk. Twelve people were killed and 40 injured, according to Iraqi Defense Ministry and U.S. military reports.

Among the dead was a bodyguard who worked for Iraq's Kurdish deputy prime minister, Rowsch Shaways. Shaways was not with him.

Minutes later, a suicide car bomber attacked a convoy of civilian contractors in Kirkuk, said 1st Sgt. Brian Thomas, a U.S. military spokesman. Four passers-by were killed and 11 others injured, but the contractors escaped injury. The nationality of the contractors was not disclosed.

Later yesterday morning, a suicide car bomber attacked the convoy of the deputy chief of the Diyala provincial council as he was driving to work in Baqouba. Hussein Alwan al-Tamimi and three bodyguards were killed in the blast, said Maj. Steven Warren, a U.S. military spokesman.

Al-Tamimi, a Shiite, resigned as mayor of Muqdadiyah after being elected to the provincial council in January.

Before the election, politicians in Diyala province became favored targets of the insurgency. Eight interim council members were assassinated. While mayor of Muqdadiyah, al-Tamimi twice escaped attempts on his life, said Hanaa al-Daghistani, head of the province's culture and media department.

The governor of Anbar province, Raja Nawaf Farhan al-Mahalawi, was found dead Sunday in a farmhouse in western Iraq, weeks after he was kidnapped. The foreign fighters holding him fired on American soldiers patrolling the area, and his body was found after the shootout.

In Mosul, two parked motorcycles rigged with explosives detonated near a coffee shop frequented by police, killing five Iraqis, wounding 13 and destroying several shops.

In the turbulent Dora neighborhood of Baghdad, insurgents attacked a police patrol yesterday with a car bomb and gunfire. A woman was killed, said police Lt. Majid Zaki.

A roadside bomb in Mahmoudiya, 20 miles south of Baghdad, killed three Iraqis driving through the area.

The U.S. military reported the deaths of three service members yesterday, including two soldiers killed in action in Ramadi a day earlier.

A soldier was killed Wednesday when a roadside bomb targeting an American convoy detonated near his vehicle, according to a U.S. military statement. Another soldier was killed Wednesday by small-arms fire.

Both soldiers were assigned to the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Marine Division, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force. The 2nd Brigade Combat Team is an Army unit supporting the Marine force.

The third soldier, assigned to Task Force Liberty in Kirkuk, died Wednesday from nonbattle-related injuries, a military statement said.

The Chicago Tribune is a Tribune Publishing newspaper. The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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