A woman carried out a suicide bombing near a Shi’ite mosque in Iraq’s Diyala province Jan. 16, killing at least eight people. The attack provoked local Shi’ite militia fighters to use mortars against a nearby Sunni village in retaliation. Shi’ite worshipers in the village of Khan Bani Saad were preparing for Ashura festivities. (NYT, Jan. 17) On Jan. 17, a suicide bomber killed eight and wounded 14 near a Shi’ite mosque in Baquba, Diyala’s capital. (Reuters, Jan. 17)
A curfew will be imposed on Baghdad and 10 Iraqi provinces for the three-day Ashura festival. All traffic will be banned starting Thursday night in the southern provinces of Babylon, Basra, Diwaniya, Karbala, Missan, Muthanna, Najaf, Thi-Qar and Wassit, as well as Baghdad and Diyala. (AFP, Jan. 17)
Meanwhile on National Review Online, Jonathan Schanzer in “Pessimistic Predictions,” blasts Juan Cole for “hoping for the collapse of Iraq” because he refuses to go along with the consensus that the “surge” is “working.”
See our last posts on Iraq and the “surge” and sectarian cleansing.