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Sheiks Freed, Bomber Kills 29 Police Recruits

From the Associated Press:

Iraqi policemen and other residents stand near body bags containing the remains of policemen who were killed in a suicide bomb attack in Baquba, 65 km (40 miles) northeast of Baghdad, October 29, 2007.

Iraqi official: Kidnapped sheiks freed

By BUSHRA JUHI, Associated Press Writer

A suicide bomber on a bicycle blew himself up Monday in a crowd of police recruits, killing at least 29 people, police and hospital officials said. Separately, a group of kidnapped Sunni and Shiite sheiks were freed, a government spokesman said.

Police and relatives have identified the tribal leaders abducted in Baghdad as seven Shiites and three Sunnis aligned against al-Qaida who were on their way home to Diyala province — the same region where Monday’s bombing took place — after attending a meeting with the Shiite-dominated government’s adviser for tribal affairs to discuss coordinating efforts against the terror group.

Police said one of the Sunnis in the group — seized from their cars in a predominantly Shiite neighborhood — was shot to death, but Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Mohammed al-Askari said the rest were freed on Monday. He declined to specify how many or give more details.

The U.S. military, citing intelligence sources, said Monday that a rogue Shiite militia leader was responsible for the abduction, identifying him as Arkan Hasnawi, a former brigade commander in the Mahdi Army militia, which is nominally loyal to radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr

The police recruits in Baqouba were waiting to be allowed inside the camp for the day’s training when the suicide bomber blew himself up in their midst, according to a police officer who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

A 22-year-old Sunni man from Baqouba’s central Tahrir area said he was among a group of some 60 recruits when the blast struck.

Akram Salman said it must have been an inside job because the suicide bomber apparently penetrated heavy security surrounding the police camp without being searched.

He said police failed to stop the bomber when he changed course suddenly from the main road toward the recruits.

The police are infiltrated. Many people join the police but they have affiliations with al-Qaida. These infiltrators made it easy for the bomber to attack us,” he said. “There are two main checkpoints on the main road leading to the camp, it would be impossible for a man on a bicycle to pass without being properly searched.”

“Al-Qaida has threatened us before and prevented us from joining the police,” he said. “They slaughtered many policemen, burned their houses, killed their families and blew up their headquarters. Now, when the people have defeated al-Qaida and cooperated with the government, al-Qaida staged this operation to show their presence and to give a message that they are still in control.

Mohammed al-Kirrawi, a doctor at the Baqouba general hospital, said most of the victims were struck by iron balls packed with the explosives to achieve maximum casualties. He said the hospital lacked the necessary equipment to save many of the wounded…

And yet the recruits still sign up. They won’t let the terrorists win.

Unlike the heroic Democrats in our country.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, October 29th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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