Bloody Day in Iraq Leaves 263 Dead

Updated at 11:30 a.m. EDT, Oct. 3, 2006

In the last day, the body count in Iraq exploded as at least 263 were killed or found dead; 30 of those were insurgents killed in Ramadi. Tensions are particularly high due to two mass kidnappings that occurred in Baghdad. At least 16 of a total of 40 kidnap victims are still missing. Roadside bombs, mortars and simple shootings took many lives, while stray fire or mortars took the lives of several children. 45 other people were reportedly injured in those or similar attacks. Experts have noted that in previous years violence has increased during Ramadan; this year is no exception. The US government today also released the names of two Iowa National Guard soldiers killed on Saturday. Over the weekend a Marine died in a vehicle accident unrelated to fighting. Another US soldier died on Monday, bringing the total of US dead to 4. One British soldier was also killed.

At least 118 were killed in Baghdad alone, including one intelligence officer and Faris Khalil, a colonel in the Interior Ministry. At least thirteen more bodies were found throughout Baghdad on Monday, adding to the fifty that were found overnight Sunday. They were shot to death and bore signs of torture. It is believed that “sectarian death squads” killed them. Mortar attacks reportedly killed 1, injured 3 in northern Baghdad, while another mortar killed 1 and injured 8 in the Ur district. 8 fatal shooting victims were delived to a hospital in the Yarmouk district. Roadside bombs killed 3, injured 8 in the Saadoun district; wounded 3 more in the Yarmouk district and 2 in Eastern Baghdad. Another bomb targeting police killed 2, injured 2, in the Waziriya district, but whether the casualties were police or civilians is unconfirmed. A noontime bomb blast at a market in Al Nasr reportedly killed 4 and injured 13.

Twenty-four men were kidnapped from a meat processing plant in the Amel district and placed into a truck; two were shot when they refused to board the vehicle. Four men are confirmed to have escaped by blending into a crowded marketplace when they fled the truck during a stop. The other 22 are believed all dead; several have been confirmed dead. Another 14 men were kidnapped from computer stores adjacent to the Baghdad Technical University in Central Baghdad, but their fate is unknown. Two more individuals were reportedly kidnapped north of Baghdad.

At least 145 people outside the capital were killed including a leading al-Qaeda figure, Saad Tager Al-Rayashi (aka Abu Fad’ am.) Fifty bodies were discovered in Kut and at least 31 elsewhere..Today, al-Iraqiya television reported the deaths of 30 insurgents in a joint operation by multi-national forces and Iraqi police carried out in Ramadi; however, the date of the operation was not reported. Troops also detained 59 “wanted suspects.” Two police officers and two firefighters were also wounded in separate incidents. In Basra, a British soldier was killed, and another was wounded in a base attack. A round also fell on a nearby home during the attack, killing two young children and wounding another. Elsewhere in Basra, gunmen killed an Iraqi intelligence office. Seven headless bodies were found in the Tigris River near Suwayra; their hands were bound.Gunmen also killed 7 in the cities of Kut, Mosul, Dhuluiya and Ishaqi. Stray fire killed a woman and child sleeping on a roof in Sadr City. Car bombs took the lives of 4 in Latifiya and 5 in Falluja. Turkish forces also bombed Kurdish villages, but the number of casualties, if any, was not released.

Compiled by Margaret Griffis.