A new Iraqi-led security force has been charged with curbing the violence in the Iraqi capital following a bloody weekend that saw the worst suicide bombing since the war began. A New York Times reporter discusses the atmosphere in the city.
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Damien Cave of the New York Times, welcome. We've been hearing that there were, what, 150 people killed over the weekend between the marketplace bombing in Baghdad and more attacks today, and that some Iraqi officials have been saying as many as 1,000 Iraqis have been killed in the past week.
How much of this has to do with expectations of enhanced security coming from the United States?
DAMIEN CAVE, New York Times:
Well, part of the problem is that it appears that Sunni insurgents have been taking advantage of what they see as a weakness in the security situation here and in anticipation of the American security plan getting started.
And the other addition to that is that there has been a Shiite holiday, Ashura, that has happened recently, which is also often a magnet for attacks. So that combination seems to have combined for several high-profile, large bombings with a lot of people killed.