Gen. David Petraeus, the top US commander in Iraq, stressed it was too early
to see results because the buildup of some 30,000 extra US forces for the
operation would not be complete for nearly two more weeks.
"We achieved some early success through the first several months of the
effort. The sectarian murder and execution rate was cut by over two-thirds, and
then we saw it come back a bit during the month of May," he told CNN.
"We do have some aggressive plans to ... go after al-Qaida and some of the
sanctuaries they've been able to build and dispatch car bombs from for some
time. That won't be without a fight, but it is something that we must do in the
areas around Baghdad to provide better security for the people in Baghdad," he
The day's deadliest attack was a simultaneous suicide bombing of a bus and a
truck in the town of Rabia, near the Syrian border.
The truck exploded at a police station, killing at least five policemen and
five civilians and wounding 22 other people, including 14 policemen, according
to army Capt. Mohammed Ahmed.
A guard shot the driver as he approached the building, but the truck still
penetrated its blast walls and exploded, destroying the one-story structure,
said Ahmed, an officer with the army's Third Division, which oversees the area.
Another bomber driving a minibus struck a building about 500 yards away at
the same time, according to police officials who spoke on condition of anonymity
because they feared retribution. They said five Britons working in the building
were wounded. British officials could not immediately be reached to confirm that
In Baghdad, a bomb beneath a parked car exploded at lunchtime outside a
falafel restaurant, killing at least seven people and wounding 14, police
reported. The teeming slum, which is a Mahdi Army stronghold, has repeatedly
been targeted by Sunni extremists seeking to terrorize the Shiite majority and
inflame hostilities between the Muslim sects.
Iraqi journalist Sahar al-Haidari, 45, was shot to death while she was
waiting for a taxi Thursday in a predominantly Sunni area in the northern city
of Mosul. Al-Haidari covered political and cultural news for the independent
Voices of Iraq news agency and was the second employee of the organization to be
killed in little more than a week.