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Thursday, July 21, 2005

Daily War News

Since this administration adores a vacuum, you should always remember to regularly check in with Today in Iraq

The following is just a portion of the News out of Iraq forn this date:

War News for Thursday, July 21, 2005

Bring 'em on: One Iraqi soldier killed and six injured in suicide car bombing at a checkpoint in the Baghdad suburb of Bueitha. Six Iraqi soldiers killed and 13 wounded in suicide car bombing in Mahmoudiyah.

Bring 'em on: Three members of the Qhadisiyah provincial council assassinated in Baghdad. One employee of the Ministry of Trade killed in a drive-by shooting in Sadr City. One Iraqi guard killed and two injured when attackers threw explosives into the compound of a British security firm the Yarmouk neighborhood of Baghdad. Three members of an Iraqi patrol killed and three injured by a roadside bomb in Latifiyah.

Bring 'em on: Two Algerian diplomats kidnapped in Baghdad. Two Iraqi commandoes killed and ten injured in suicide bombing in Baghdad's Dora neighborhood. Shiite holy shrine blown up by militants in Baquba. Iraq army claims to have arrested 200 suspected insurgents in a sweep near the city.

Bring 'em on: One US sailor died Thursday of wounds sustained July 15 during combat operations in Hit.

Twenty-six: Many of the boys in the dusty al-Khalij neighborhood of east Baghdad awoke to the news, rousing late on a hot, sleepy summer morning with no school. Their families recalled the excitement -- the American soldiers were here. And they were handing out candy.

Hamza Firas Khuzai, 11 years old, and his friends, many of them boys ages 9 to 12, rushed out without breakfast and mounted their clunky, hip-high bicycles, said Hadi Firas Khuzai, Hamza's father.

To boys Hamza's age, the words "American soldiers" meant mingling among armored troops who looked to them like action figures come to life. It meant laughs while clowning with the Americans, and candy, cookies or toys waiting to be dropped into their waving hands. Hamza's friends pedaled away, rushing toward the soldiers' Humvees at the far end of one block. Younger brothers and sisters trailed them, without wheels.

About 10 a.m. last Wednesday, a suicide bomber drove his brown Suzuki sedan and its load of explosives into the crowd of American soldiers and Iraqi children clustered around the Humvees, residents said. Twenty-six of al-Khalij's children died....

Iraqi Politics

Sunni warnings: Sunni Arabs boycotting the committee drafting Iraq's new constitution warned other members on Thursday not to push the document through without their support.

Sunni Arabs suspended participation in the constitution-drafting committee on Wednesday after a Sunni Arab committee member and two fellow-members of the Sunni Arab umbrella group Iraqi National Dialogue were shot dead.

The committee is the main vehicle the government and its U.S. backers had hoped would lure the restive Sunni minority into the political process and help defuse Iraq's insurgency.

The committee's Shi'ite chairman Humam Hamoudi said on Wednesday he believed the Sunnis' demands were for improved security, which could be swiftly met, and predicted they would sign on to a new constitution that would be ready in weeks.

But Iraqi National Dialogue spokesman Salih Mutlaq said Hamoudi's comments implied he was rushing through a draft constitution without waiting for Sunnis to return to the table.

"He should withdraw his remarks," Mutlaq said. "We will not resume work with the committee until our demands are met."

Kurdish demands: Kurdish leaders have presented a redrawn map with a larger Kurdistan to the Iraqi National Assembly for consideration in the new constitution, a Kurdish party official said Thursday.

The map reflected long-standing Kurdish claims that stretches their territory south toward the capital of Baghdad — well beyond the boundaries of the current Kurdish autonomous area.

"The Kurdistan parliament and Kurdish parties have ratified and agreed on this map. We want this map to be part of the constitution," said Mullah Bakhtiyar, a senior official with the Kurdish Democratic Party, one of the two main Kurdish political parties.

The Kurdish demand was unlikely to be well-received by Sunnis and Shiites on the constitutional commission and could further complicate efforts to complete the draft charter by the Aug. 15 deadline....