Thursday, January 27, 2011

After bombing, Iraqis direct anger at police

By John Leland, The New York Times
January 27, 2011


BAGHDAD — Anger at Iraq’s security forces boiled over Thursday after a suicide bomber detonated a car bomb beside an outdoor funeral service, killing dozens, and residents stormed into the street, some firing warning shots at the police they said had failed to protect them.

Iraqi army troops rushed to the scene to support the police, leading to a lull in the violence. But the crowd erupted again shortly afterward, with more people flooding the street, throwing rocks and bottles at security forces.

The mini revolt was eventually quelled, with the military imposing a curfew to stop further demonstrations.

The neighborhood where the bombing took place, Shula, is a former hotbed of sectarian violence and stronghold of the Mahdi Army, the militia loyal to the anti-American cleric Moktada al-Sadr.

Unrest also shook the disputed northern region of Kirkuk, where protests broke out in three cities over the lack of electricity, echoing demonstrations in the south last summer, which the government eventually banned.

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Will Friday bring the start of the fires?

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