Updated at 11:40 a.m. EST, Nov. 24, 2006
In the deadliest attack since the U.S. invaded Iraq, suspected Sunni militiamen killed at least 215 people and wounded 257 others in Shi’ite Sadr City today; the death toll is expected to go much higher. In other events, another 117 Iraqis were killed or found dead and 57 more wounded for a combined total of 332 dead and 315 wounded today.
In the Sadr City district, a series of mortar and bomb attacks left 215 dead and 257 wounded. The explosions rocked the large, Shi’ite slum at 15 minute intervals beginning at about 3:00 p.m. Among the specific attacks were two car bombs that blasted the Jamila and al-Hay markets and another car bomb at Shahidein Square. Sunni militiamen were thought to be behind the attacks.
Shi’ite militiamen responded by firing several mortar rounds at the Sunni Adhamiya neighborhood, killing 20 and wounding seven more people. Also, mortars were dropped on a Sunni mosque, killing one person. Three more Sunni targets were blasted by explosives; 11 died and 23 were wounded in Azamiyah, Bab al-Moazzam and on Palestine Street. Over in northern Baghdad, 30 gunmen laid siege to the Health Ministry in what may be another Sunni-backed attack. The three-hour firefight between the Iraqi Army and the gunmen, who are thought to be Sunni militiamen, left five wounded. A curfew has been imposed and the airports are closed in the hope that it will curb further attacks.
In Coalition news, police reported that Coalition forces fired upon a minibus carrying day laborers; four Iraqis were killed and another eight injured in the incident which occurred before dawn. Also, the Multi-National Force said that Coalition forces killed a suspected terrorist in Balad Ruz. Another 17 suspected terrorists and militiamen were killed in separate events involving Coalition forces around the country.
Other events in the capital included a roadside bomb attack, which wounded five in the Nahdha area. Another roadside bomb, this one in the Bayaa district, wounded four police commandos. On Palestine Street, yet another roadside bomb wounded four people, including two policemen. Gunmen shot dead Najim al-Kinani, a former military pilot, in the Mansour neighborhood. Also, heavy fighting took place in the Hurriyah neighborhood and near Jadriyah bridge, but no casualties were reported. And police recovered 30 dumped bodies late Wednesday into Thursday.
Yashua Mageed Hedaya, the head of the independent Assyrian movement, was gunned down in Qarqash.
In Tikrit, gunmen killed one policemen and wounded another.
A roadside bomb targeting a police patrol in Iskandariya killed one officer and wounded a second.
A man was pulled off a bus in Tal Afar and shot dead.
And in Diwaniya, eight bodies were recovered.
Compiled by Margaret Griffis