Insurgents kill 26 in new Iraq violence
Updated: 2005-10-20 08:48
Sunni-led insurgents killed 26 people in Iraq on the opening day of Saddam
Hussein's trial, including six Shiites who were lined up at a factory and gunned
down in front of their fellow workers, police said.
In two other deadly attacks Wednesday, six civilians were killed when mortar
rounds hit their homes in Samarra, 60 miles north of Baghdad, and three election
commission officials were shot and killed on the outskirts of the capital in Abu
Ghraib, as they drove home after another round of counting ballots from the
constitutional referendum, police said.
A bomb also went off at a famous monument in a Baghdad square honoring the
8th-century founder of Baghdad to whom Saddam often compared himself. The blast,
which toppled the bust of Abu Jaafar Al-Mansour but caused no injuries, appeared
to be a jab at the former dictator.
In addition, the military said that two coalition soldiers were killed ¡ª one
American, the other British ¡ª in attacks Tuesday night.
Iraqis are still awaiting the outcome of last weekend's referendum, as the
slower-than-expected vote counting continued. Questions about the integrity of
the vote and delays in getting marked ballots to the capital mean final results
from the landmark vote won't be announced until Friday at the earliest,
The returns have raised questions over the possibility of irregularities in
the balloting ¡ª and have prompted an audit into an irregularly high number of
An Iraqi child cries during the funeral of six
al-Mahdi army, a militia loyal to radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr,
members, in Baghdad, Iraq, Tuesday Oct. 18, 2005. The men were found dead
Monday after disappearing 14 days ago, relatives
An argumentative Saddam and seven senior members of his regime went on trial
Wednesday for a 1982 massacre of about 150 Shiites in the town of Dujail, north
of Baghdad. He challenged the legitimacy of the court and pleaded innocent to
The judge later adjourned the session until Nov. 28.
In Washington, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice heralded the
constitutional referendum and said the American strategy in Iraq was to "clear
areas from insurgent control, hold them securely, and build durable, national
Rice told the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee the United States is
working to dismantle the insurgent network and disrupt foreign support for them,
maintain security in areas insurgents no longer hold, and build national
institutions to "sustain security forces, bring rule of law, visibly deliver
essential services, and offer the Iraqi people hope for a better economic
Wednesday's worst insurgent attack occurred in a mostly Sunni region south of
Baghdad known as the Triangle of Death because of all its militant groups.
About nine militants barged into a building materials factory near
Iskandariyah, 30 miles south of Baghdad, lined up all the workers and forced the
six Shiite ones to identify themselves, said police Lt. Colonel Khalil Mohammed.
The militants then tied up the hands of Shiites, shot them to death in front of
the other workers, and fled in several stolen company cars, Mohammed said.
Insurgents opened fire on a police checkpoint near the Hai Al-Adil highway in
a western Baghdad, killing four policemen and wounding 11, said police Capt.
Rory Carroll, 33, an Irish citizen who is the Baghdad correspondent for the
British newspaper The Guardian also was apparently kidnapped in the capital on
A roadside bomb hit a U.S. Army patrol late Tuesday night, killing one
soldier and wounding two near Iskandariyah, the military said. The attack raised
to at least 1,981 the number of members of the U.S. military who have died since
the war began, according to an Associated Press count.