The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Insurgents take control of prison, killing 18

As the article notes, our troops are dealing with two distinct problems here: an insurgency that continues to grow in strength and capability, and a huge outbreak of, let's say "Civil War-esque" fighting between religious and tribal factions. And we haven't got either one under control.

Insurgents returned to old tactics today and stormed a jail in the Sunni heartland at daybreak, killing 18 police officers and freeing all the prisoners inside.

More than 100 masked fighters surrounded the jail in Muqdadiya, 60 miles north of Baghdad, and blasted government forces with mortars, grenades and machine guns. The police returned fire and killed one insurgent, Interior Ministry officials said.

The attackers destroyed about 20 police vehicles and set fire to the police station and a nearby courthouse before escaping, the Iraqi officials said. An Iraqi army unit that tried to reach the scene to support the police during the attack was disabled by a roadside bomb as the convoy passed through a city gate. (. . .)

It was the biggest raid of its kind in months, and it showed that even as sectarian tensions increase and more and more violence is connected to Sunni and Shiite rivalries, the anti-government insurgency rages on. There were also a number of bomb attacks today targeting government positions.

One mortar sailed into the Green Zone, where the American Embassy is located, right as a delegation of United States senators was meeting with Iraqi officials. No injuries were reported and such attacks are so frequent that children playing on a swing set nearby kept on swinging.