Even as violence decreases in other parts of Iraq, al-Qaida
and other militant groups are still active in Mosul, a northern city with a mix
of Kurds, Sunni Arabs, Christians and other groups.
However, this week in Baghdad, a string of car bombs across
the Iraqi capital claimed the lives of at least 49 Iraqis and wounded 182,
dealing a blow to reports of increased security in Iraq, according to the Agence
One car bomb detonated on Tuesday in the Kadhimiya district
where one of Shiite Islam's holiest shrines is located.
In the Mosul attack, the truck ignored requests to stop at a
checkpoint outside the base, prompting U.S. and Iraqi forces to open fire. The
truck, carrying more than a ton of explosives, detonated about 50 meters from
the base and leveled three nearby buildings, according to an Iraqi Interior
The explosion also rocked nearby apartments.
"Everything was broken in my home, my refrigerator, my
TV, my furniture. The smoke was so thick we couldn't see each other," said
Amjad Akram, as quoted by the AFP.
Two suspects in the attack were detained and the U.S.
military is investigating. The names of the U.S. troops have not been released
pending family notification.
Since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, over 4,200 U.S.
troops and tens of thousands of Iraqis have been killed. Last month was the
least deadly for American soldiers since 2003.
Thursday marked the sixth anniversary of the fall of Baghdad
to U.S. troops. Followers of the anti-American Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr
protested in Firdos Square where a statue of Saddam Hussein was toppled in
The protesters, numbering in the tens of thousands, burned
an effigy of former U.S. President George W. Bush, according to Reuters.
President Barack Obama has said that U.S. combat troops will
leave Iraq by the end of August 2010. Under a deal between the U.S. and Iraqi
government signed by Mr. Bush, all U.S. troops are scheduled to leave by the
end of 2011.
Earlier this week, President Obama made a surprise trip to
Baghdad after his trip to Europe. He told U.S. troops that the time has come
for Iraqis to take more responsibility for their country's safety and