Home>News Center>World

Suicide bomber kills 12 in attack on Iraqi police
Updated: 2004-11-30 09:31

A suicide car bomber plowed into policemen waiting to collect their salaries at a police station west of Ramadi Monday, killing 12 people in the latest insurgent attack on Iraq's beleaguered security forces.

A suicide car bomber plowed into policemen waiting to collect their salary at a police station west of Ramadi on November 29, 2004, killing 12 people in the latest insurgent attack on Iraq's beleaguered security forces. [Reuters]

At least 10 people were wounded in the blast, and 90 percent of the casualties were policemen, said Nazar al-Hiti, a doctor in the town of Hit around 125 miles west of Baghdad, where the dead and wounded were taken.

In Baghdad, a roadside bomb exploded as a U.S. patrol went past, killing two American soldiers and wounding three. Thirteen U.S. soldiers and two foreign civilians were also wounded in a mortar attack south of Baghdad. At least 968 U.S. troops have been killed in action in Iraq and 9,000 have been wounded, most of them seriously.

Insurgents trying to drive out U.S.-led soldiers and topple the U.S.-backed government of Prime Minister Iyad Allawi have repeatedly attacked Iraqi police and soldiers.

The U.S. military has warned that violence will worsen in Iraq as elections scheduled for Jan. 30 approach.

Leading Sunni Arab political parties want the elections postponed, saying their supporters will not be able to vote freely due to guerrilla violence mainly in Sunni areas of Iraq.

Sunni Arabs make up only around 20 percent of Iraq's population but dominated the ruling elite during the rule of Saddam Hussein. Several Sunni parties say they will boycott the elections unless the government agrees to postpone them.

But parties representing Iraq's 60-percent Shi'ite majority, oppressed under Saddam, are demanding that the polls go ahead on time to cement their political dominance in the new Iraq.

Backed by Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, Iraq's most revered religious leader, Shi'ite parties have refused to accept any delay, saying that would mean giving in to guerrilla violence.

The government has called for major religious and political leaders to meet in Baghdad Tuesday in the hope of finding unity with just two months to go before the poll. It was not immediately clear who would attend the meeting.


The U.S. military has said it will move into rebel-held areas by the end of the year to pacify them ahead of the elections. Earlier this month, a major U.S. offensive crushed guerrillas in the insurgent bastion of Falluja, west of Baghdad.

U.S. Marines, British troops and Iraqi forces have also launched an operation to hunt down insurgents and criminals in a cluster of lawless towns on the Euphrates just south of Baghdad.

Marines said they killed several insurgents and captured 32 suspects in a series of actions south of Baghdad Sunday that included a high-speed riverborne raid on suspected weapons dumps on the Euphrates. Two Marines were killed in the area Sunday, when a roadside bomb exploded beside their convoy.

Insurgents have been largely driven out of Falluja, which is now a ghost town with few civilians seen on streets scarred by days of heavy fighting. But they have regrouped elsewhere and violence has surged in other areas, particularly Iraq's third largest city, Mosul, 240 miles north of Baghdad.

The U.S. military says Jordanian guerrilla leader and al Qaeda ally Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, its top foe in Iraq, may have moved to Mosul ahead of the Falluja offensive.

Guerrillas stormed and ransacked several police stations in Mosul earlier this month, forcing some U.S. troops to be diverted back from Falluja. Since then, insurgents have mounted a campaign of killing Iraqi National Guardsmen and policemen and dumping their bodies in the city as a warning to others.

More than 50 bodies have been found since Nov. 15, and Zarqawi's Al Qaeda Organization of Holy War in Iraq has claimed responsibility for killing dozens of soldiers and policemen.

Most of Mosul's police deserted during the rebel offensive in the city this month, and officials are concerned that repeated attacks on police and Iraqi security forces across the country will further undermine security ahead of the elections.

"Without the numbers of Iraqi police that we would like to have, it significantly increases the level of difficulty of establishing the environment that we need for elections," Brigadier General Carter Ham, commander of U.S. troops in Mosul, told BBC radio.

But Allawi says there is no guarantee any delay would mean greater participation, although he has not completely ruled out a postponement. Deputy Prime Minister Barham Salih told reporters in London Monday he was working on the premise elections would go ahead on time.

Secretary of State Colin Powell said Monday the United States was confident Iraq's elections will take place as planned on Jan. 30 despite pressure to delay the poll.

"We're working hard on it. The U.N. has increased its presence. There are thousands of Iraqis who are working on registration and getting ready for the elections. We're encouraging all parties to participate in the political process, especially in the Sunni heartland," Powell said.

  Today's Top News     Top World News

ASEAN tariff-cut pact steps toward free trade



Three-way dialogue goes win-win



"Income gap" tops senior officials' concerns



Al Qaeda's Zawahri says will keep fighting US



Death toll rises to 50 in Shaanxi mine blast



Half Chinese not feel "close" with Japanese


  Suicide bomber kills 12 in attack on Iraqi police
  Ukraine president says new vote possible
  US death toll in Iraq nears record
  Al Qaeda's Zawahri says will keep fighting US
  WHO: Bird flu far more deadly than SARS
  U.N. peacekeepers to stay in Haiti
  Go to Another Section  
  Story Tools  
  News Talk  
  Are the Republicans exploiting the memory of 9/11?