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Iraqi Politicians Talk of Limiting Shiite Cleric al-Sadr as Chaos Continues

Vehicle bombings and shootings continued in Iraq Wednesday, as reports continued of attempts within the government to limit the power of radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. New York Times journalist Ed Wong reports on the situation from Baghdad.

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    Ed Wong, welcome. What can you tell us about the latest incidents in Baghdad targeting civilians?

  • EDWARD WONG, New York Times:

    Well, there were a series of car bombs that went off today in Baghdad. It killed — the total death toll is in the dozens, and it's just among the continuing series of attacks that is directed at civilians.

    We believe it's part of the sectarian war, this civil war that's going on here between the various militant Sunni factions and Shiite factions. And it's what the U.S. is hoping to rein in, but right now they're at a crossroads, as you know, strategy-wise, in terms of what to do.


    When you say you believe it's one faction or another, does anyone ever claim responsibility for attacks like these after they're committed?


    If it's a very spectacular attack, you might get a claim of responsibility immediately afterwards. It might take a few days. A lot of the claims usually get posted on jihadist Web sites.

    And oftentimes, when you're talking about car bombs, for example, then you're talking about militant Sunni groups. Those are the ones that often take claim for these kinds of attacks.

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