The Happy Arab News Service

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Nitric Acid is also Beautiful

Apparently the change of tactic by the Sunni insurgents, that I mentioned in Small is Beautiful, went beyond switching from huge truck bombs to smaller car bombs and suicide belts. A dump truck overturned 25 miles north of Baghdad on Monday.

After the truck tipped over, U.S. troops approached the truck driver to help, and found the vehicle loaded with nitric acid containers and explosives, the military said in a statement.

While not a toxic gas like chlorine, nitric acid can nicely supplement regular explosives by burning through victims' skin.

"The driver was taken into custody and confessed that he was paid to attack the Joint Security Station in Mashahda, which also houses the town's Iraqi police station," the statement said.



The US army retracted its earlier statement regarding the truck loaded with nitric acid, saying the containers were filled with gasoline only. Apparently there was a mix-up of information here as another statement confirmed that 3,000 gallons of nitric acid were seized in a weapons cache in Baghdad.

This does not mean that all is lost for the insurgency as it appears that today they were celebrating on a really huge scale killing and wounding hundreds of people. Parked car bombs are now clearly a favorite tactic and they seem to be even more effective than truck bombs. Some reports claim hundreds of people died today.

About an hour earlier, a suicide car bomber crashed into an Iraqi police checkpoint at an entrance to Sadr City, the capital's biggest Shiite Muslim neighborhood and a stronghold for the militia led by radical anti-U.S. cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.

The explosion killed at least 30 people, including five Iraqi security officers, and wounded 45, police said.

Black smoke billowed from a jumble of at least eight incinerated vehicles that were in a jam of cars stopped at the checkpoint. Bystanders scrambled over twisted metal to drag victims from the smoldering wreckage as Iraqi guards staggered around stunned.

Two Iraqis are pushing their vehicle across the scene of a truck bomb attack.

In the deadliest of the attacks, a parked car bomb detonated in a crowd of workers at the Sadriyah market in central Baghdad, killing at least 112 people and wounding 115, said Raad Muhsin, an official at Al-Kindi Hospital where the victims were taken.

. . .

Among the dead were several construction workers who had been rebuilding the mostly Shiite marketplace after a bombing destroyed many shops and killed 137 people there in February, the police official said.


... and the day is not over yet.


The death toll is approaching 200 and it was apparently one of the bloodiest days in Baghdad in last years. The ability of the insurgents to penetrate the beefed up security net means that the only way to pacify the capital is by pacifying every province around. The US forces are amassing in Diyala Province where thousands of insurgents are reported to completely take over Baquba.

Sadr pulled six of his ministers out of the government, while in Basra hundreds of his supporters are demonstrating in demand for the resignation of the local governor from a Shia party that's at odd with Sadr's movement. While the US is trying to stop the rage of Sunni Shia sectarian killings in Baghdad and the North, it appears that in the South intra-Shia tensions are growing and in some provinces US and Iraqi forces clashed with militants allied with Sadr.

In short, the chaos is growing and the moment of truth is approaching.

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