Uptick in Baghdad attacks reveals new insurgent tactics
While American and Iraqi fatalities dropped to their lowest levels in October, the US military reports an increase in the use of 'sticky' bombs in targeted assassinations.
Bombs killed as many as 16 people in Baghdad Tuesday, and wounded dozens more, highlighting the fragility of the recent calm there and the complicated situation still facing American forces.Skip to next paragraph
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Attacks have become less common since US and Iraqi security forces began to "gain the upper hand," reports the BBC, although Tuesday was a grim reminder that Iraq is far from pacified, and that insurgents are employing new tactics that the US is calling "sticky IEDs," improvised explosive devices.
Iraqi security officials have been quoted saying insurgents are resorting to using smaller bombs and planting them in vehicles.
Explosions went off around the city Tuesday, a chaotic day in which Agence France-Presse (AFP) reports that seven were killed in a bomb attack at a bus station in the Shiite neighborhood of Al Mashtal, while four more died from a roadside bomb.
U.S. officials say attacks in Baghdad average about four a day – down nearly 90 percent from levels of late 2006, when Shiite-Sunni fighting was at its high point and just before the U.S. troop surge that helped bring down violence in the capital.
Tuesday's blasts came a day after a series of bombings killed 10 people and wounded 40 more, underscoring the threat still posed by extremists.
Other attacks also took place in Mosul, where violence has spiked in recent months.
UPI reports that on Monday US military officials said they had arrested several high-profile militants, some with ties to Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), in three days of operations in central and northern Iraq.
Among those taken into custody Monday was a man who intelligence reports suggest oversaw the movement of bomb-making materials into Mosul, officials said. Eleven other suspects also were detained, American Forces Press Service said.