A series of car bombings killed at least 183 people in Baghdad on Wednesday, striking predominately Shiite areas. A reporter in Iraq gives the latest on the attacks, which marked the worst violence since a security crackdown two months ago.
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Ed Wong, welcome. Defense Secretary Bob Gates today accused al-Qaida, as he put it, of being behind these horrific attacks today. Do local commanders on the ground and Iraqi officials share that view?
EDWARD WONG, New York Times:
Well, no one's come out and said exactly who they think is responsible. We haven't spoken to any commanders who really pinpointed it on anyone, and there's been no claim of responsibility yet from any group.
But oftentimes these types of bombings are the hallmark of a group like al-Qaida. At this point in the war, al-Qaida is a very amorphous term. It's not really a group of foreign fighters or event a type of group that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi started. There are a lot of Iraqis in Iraqi tribes who have become members of al-Qaida and have become radicalized, so al-Qaida is a very blanket term for a lot of these very militant Sunni-oriented groups in Iraq.