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World Council for the Cedars Revolution

Mar 07th
Home arrow News Content arrow Blog arrow Blog Items arrow Revolutions / Extremism arrow Female terrorists self-detonate among Shi'ites in Baghdad
Female terrorists self-detonate among Shi'ites in Baghdad PDF Print E-mail
Written by World Tribune   
Tuesday, 29 July 2008


BAGHDAD — Al Qaida has resumed its use of female suicide bombers in mass-casualty strikes in Iraq.

At least 63 people were killed and 350 were injured in a string of suicide bombings by women. The bloodiest attack took place in Baghdad when three female suicide bombers detonated their explosive vests and killed at least 35 people in the middle of a Shi'ite pilgrimage on July 28, Middle East Newsline reported.
"At about 8 a.m., three female suicide bombers detonated themselves among pilgrims heading to Kazimiyah," Iraqi military spokesman Brig. Gen. Qassim Al Moussawi said.

Another women suicide bomber was said to have conducted an attack in Kirkuk in which 28 people were killed and 185 were injured. The unidentified woman blew herself up in the middle of a Kurdish protest of a draft provincial elections law.

Al Qaida used Sunni women for a series of suicide bombings in 2007. The attacks by women were interrupted by U.S. and Iraqi operations in the northern province of Diyala in early 2008, which dismantled at least one major Al Qaida cell that recruited suicide bombers.

On Tuesday, an Iraqi commander said Iraqi and U.S. troops launched a major operation meant to destroy the Al Qaida leadership in Diyala. Iraq Army Gen. Ali Ghaidan said the operation was titled "Omens of Prosperity."

"The targets of these vicious and cowardly attacks were innocent Iraqi men, women, and children who were freely practicing their democratic rights and religious faith," a statement by U.S. ambassador Ryan Crocker and U.S. military commander Gen. David Petraeus said. "It is crucial that the Iraqi people remain united and steadfast in the face of those terrorists who would use violence to destroy a free Iraq and set back the progress for which so many have so bravely sacrificed."

Officials said the Al Qaida network has resumed the recruitment and training of women suicide bombers. They said the bombings were meant to signal a resumption of Al Qaida mass-casualty attacks in Baghdad and other major Iraqi cities.

An Al Qaida car bomb, meant to be detonated after the female suicide attack, was foiled by Iraqi police in Kirkuk. Police did not provide details of the car bomb.

Officials said Al Qaida targeted women for recruitment because of their ability to gain access to civilian and military areas. They said women, despite government orders, have usually avoided searches at military and police checkpoints.

The Interior Ministry has employed and trained 200 women officers to search visitors to the Shi'ite pilgrimage near Kazimiyah. In 2005, at least 1,000 pilgrims died in a bridge stampede sparked by an Al Qaida suicide bombing in Kazimiyah.

Meanwhile, Iraqi and U.S. forces have been raiding suspected Al Qaida strongholds in the Nineveh province. On July 28, the U.S. military reported the detention of nearly 60 Al Qaida suspects and the death of four Iraqi soldiers.

"Four Iraqi army soldiers were killed, and six Iraqi soldiers and one coalition force soldier were wounded during the operation," the military said.


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