The infiltration suicide-attacks are getting bolder in Iraq. Two brothers disguised as senior police officers with security passes entered the Interior Ministry compound in Baghdad to attend a parade on National Police Day. Zalmay Khalilzad, the US ambassador, was also present.
Guards became only suspicious after they had entered the security area because one of the attackers looked rather bulky. They shot at the suicide bomber and naturally detonated his explosive belt. Realising that their disguise had been seen through, the other bomber blew himself up. 28 people died while 25 others were injured. The US Ambassador escaped injury.
What is troubling about the attack hads been the appalling standard of the Iraqi police security and also the ability of the attackers to obtain security passes. Insurgents have been targeting the Interior Ministry because it has become a symbol of hatred for Sunni Arabs. The Iraqi Police, comprising mainly of Shi'ite Muslim and Kurdish militia, have been oppressing the Sunnis.
al Qaeda has claimed responsibility for the suicide bombings.
Meanwhile, to make matters worse for the Americans, Sunni Iraqis are very pissed off with an US raid on the offices of the Muslim Clerics' Association, an influential group of Sunni scholars. It seems the American troops did the usual Rambo stuff, blasting their way into the offices and creating mayhem with their forced entry. The whole place was devastated.
The US military claimed it had a tip-off of ‘substantial terrorist activity’ in the mosque complex. It insisted that the US troops behaved respectfully. But I wonder how respectful could they be when they had blasted their way into a building. You can bet they aren’t making many friends.
The Sunni Arab coalition has called upon its followers to gather at the mosque on Tuesday to protest against the US sinful assault. The Sunni leadership calls it a direct and intended act against Sunnis. I wonder what Washington would make of it because it has just started to engage the Sunnis in an effort to persuade them to abandon support for the insurgency. This attack so soon after the Sunni’s anger at the alleged vote rigging during the recent election is hardly likely to enlist their cooperation.