Iraq Report: Kufa bombed, Iraqi/Coalition operations
There have been no major suicide or car bombings inside Baghdad over the past two days. Mortar, roadside bombings and small arms attacks persist, but sectarian killings are still below the levels prior to the implementation of the Baghdad Security Plan. Much of the significant violence has occurred in Baghdad's "Belts," the regions about 20 miles outside Baghdad. This is where the latest two significant attacks occurred.
South of Baghdad in Kufa, the sister city of Karbala, al Qaeda struck with a suicide car bomb near a market, killing 16 and wounding another 70. "Witnesses said the bomber drove a minibus into an open-air market packed with morning shoppers in central Kufa," reports Reuters.
Another suicide bomber struck outside a police station in Diyala province. Two Iraqis were killed and 15 more wounded during the strike. This follows a deadly attack on a U.S. military convoy on Sunday. Six soldiers and a Russian journalist were killed after an IED struck their vehicle.
Task Force 145 captured 13 al Qaeda operatives during a series of raids in Baghdad, Karma and Tal Afar on Monday and Tuesday. The Baghdad raid also resulted in finding "several documents related to a chemical VBIED operation." Fifteen al Qaeda operatives were captured during separate raids in Balad, Hillah, Fallujah and near Taji. The raid west of Taji netted "three individuals with suspected ties to al-Qaeda senior leadership during two separate raids." Al Qaeda in Iraq's information minister and two other senior operatives were killed in this region last week.
Iraq security forces are also on the offensive against al Qaeda and the insurgency. Eighty six suspected insurgents were captured and one killed during raids inside Baghdad. Iraqi soldiers also captured 4 insurgents near Mosul after they placed over 300 pounds of explosives under a oil pipeline which runs into Turkey.