Friday, February 15, 2008

Al Qaeda in Iraq reorganizes, U.S. media ignores surge

MEMRI reports that 500 Al-Qaeda gunmen were now returning to Diyala province and AFP reports Friday saw a twin suicide bombing.

MOSUL, Iraq - A double attack on Friday by two suicide bombers outside a crowded Shia mosque in the northwestern Iraqi town of Tal Afar killed at least four people and wounded 17, police said.

Tal Afar police chief Brigadier General Ibrahim Al Juburi said security forces shot both bombers but that the men still managed to detonate their suicide vests.

The attacks came during Friday prayers when the Shaikh Jawad Al Sadiq mosque was crowded with worshippers.

Tal Afar is near the Syrian border in the northern province of Nineveh, one of the provinces where Iraqi and US commanders says Al Qaeda in Iraq has regrouped after being chased out of Baghdad and surrounding belts.

Reuters notes.

Attacks are down nationwide by 60 percent since June, thanks to a surge of 30,000 extra U.S. troops, a decision by Sunni tribal sheikhs to turn against al Qaeda, and a ceasefire by Moqtada al-Sadr's Shi'ite militia.

But the country's north remains a massive security headache and stronghold of al Qaeda, who regrouped there after being ousted from strongholds in western Anbar province and from around Baghdad last year.

Meanwhile, NewsBusters has the latest on the lack of U.S. media interest in the first anniverary of the surge.

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