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Sunni Insurgency Steps Up Attacks in Baghdad

Car bombs and mortar attacks rocked Baghdad and north of the capital Monday, killing as many as 100 people and wounding dozens more, as Sunni insurgent violence surged against Shiites. NewsHour Correspondent Gwen Ifill talks with New York Times writer Marc Santora about the situation in Baghdad.

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    Marc Santora, welcome.

    Do we have any sense of what the cause is of this latest wave of violence?

  • MARC SANTORA, New York Times:

    You know, it's very hard to say exactly what the cause is, but this does seem to fit in with a pattern we've seen before, when there are periods, brief lulls, say, in the violence, where there will be some sort of agitation on the part of Sunni insurgents to once again spark a new wave of killing.

    The bombing you had today with 88 dead is an extreme example of that. And last week, we saw another 65 dead at a Baghdad university mainly attended by Shiite students.

    I think what we're seeing here is that there was a brief lull, and there seemed to have been some evidence that the Shiite militias were, at the very least, laying low in anticipation of the new Baghdad security crackdown, and perhaps acting on orders from Muqtada al-Sadr himself.

    But this wave of killings, it'll be — there's a lot of fear that this will spark a renewed wave of violence.

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