A Bomb Attack in Baghdad Kills 10 Iraqis
A Bomb Attack in Baghdad Kills 10 Iraqis, US Occupation Arrests Scores in Massive Operation
The US military enters 2004 buoyed by the capture of Saddam Hussein but conscious that the end of Iraq's once all-powerful strongman risks stoking unrealistic expectations of a swift end to eight months of deadly insurgency.
The latest attack took place in the "Bayya" neighborhood southwest of Baghdad, where a tanker truck filled with explosives exploded Wednesday morning at a busy crossroads killing at least 10 people and wounding more than a dozen others. Iraqi authorities blamed the explosion on supporters of Saddam Hussein angered over his capture.
They said that there was no clear target for the bombed vehicle. But an eyewitness at the scene said that he saw a US convoy and the tanker was trying to follow it over the crossroads. He added that there appeared to be an accident when a white civilian car crushed into the tanker which exploded.
Using documents found on Saddam Hussein when he was captured last Saturday, American forces have captured several members of a cell working in the capital Baghdad. This came during an operation dubbed "Ivy Blizzard" concentrating in the flashpoint town of Samarra'.
As a result, occupation troops captured whom they described as a key financier of anti-US attacks was arrested in the town along with 87 other suspects and a large quantity of explosives seized.
Quaiss Hattam, was on the blacklist of wanted members of Saddam Hussein regime. Military officials said the operation would continue for several days aiming to deny anti US elements freedom of movement, communication and organization, to isolate and eliminate them. Simultaneously in Baquba, US forces conducted three raids and arrested nine men including three wanted men or what US troops call "target individuals".
One of them was an Iraqi intelligence agent suspected of providing information to pro- Saddam militia in the area. Pro-Saddam protests following his capture continued in the northern town of Tikrit. US forces fired gun shots at the protesters who set ablaze several stores in the area.
Elsewhere in the city of Mosul, soldiers fired warning shots to disperse dozens of demonstrators in the town's center. American soldiers also used water cannons to disperse protesters in the town of Baji north of Baghdad. Anti Saddam protests also marched through the Iraqi capital demanding a public trial for the "humiliated tyrant".
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