- ‘I Am Alive’ app gains popularity in terror-ravaged Lebanon
- Gun giveaways gain popularity among Republican candidates
- S.C. hospital worker slapped with $525 federal fine for refilling $0.89 soda
- Teen from ‘Jihad Jane’ plot becomes youngest ever to serve time on U.S. terror charges
- Iranian woman forgives son’s killer at the gallows
- Nebraska principal sorry for ‘don’t tattle’ flier
- Illinois readies to spend $100M for Obama museum in Chicago
- John Edwards back in court — this time as a lawyer for Va. boy’s malpractice case
- Covered California reports more than 200K in overtime Obamacare sign-ups
- Thanks, Chuck: Hagel says U.S. sending Ukraine sleeping mats, helmets
Iraqi police target of guerrilla attacks
BAGHDAD — At least 350 U.S.-trained Iraqi police officers have been killed in the past year, and rebel attacks one likely to increase before the coalition hands over sovereignty on June 30, U.S. military officials warned .
The latest American casualty was a soldier who died in an explosion north of Baghdad yesterday, and insurgents have struck police north and south of the capital this week. They killed two policemen who were twins, killed a provincial police chief and ambushed a van carrying police recruits, killing nine.
“We remain concerned at what is clearly a program of intimidation and targeting of not only the Iraqi police service, but all Iraqi government officials,” said Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt, the U.S. military’s deputy director of operations. “A significant number of Iraqi police have been killed in the past year, somewhere in the order of 350.”
He said that despite the attacks “on almost a daily basis,” morale in the Iraqi force remained high and there had been no significant drop in recruitment or retention rates.
About 200,000 Iraqis are serving in the country’s security forces, which include an army, police, border guards and the Iraqi Civil Defense Corps, or ICDC. Insurgents view them as collaborators with the U.S.-led occupation, and they often make easier targets because they are less well-armed and protected than U.S. troops.
Insurgents “know that police are the authority, force and law, and for this reason they carry out these acts,” said Nouri Jaber al-Nouri, inspector general of the Interior Ministry. Suicide bombers also have targeted police stations, and the bombing of an army recruiting center in Baghdad in February killed 47 persons.
Although U.S. troops will remain in Iraq after the June 30 transfer of sovereignty to a transitional government, the coalition wants Iraqi security forces to assume a bigger role in the fight against an insurgency that has claimed hundreds of American lives.
As of yesterday, nearly 600 U.S. service members had died since the beginning of military operations in Iraq a year ago, according to the Department of Defense. Of those, about two-thirds have died as a result of hostile action.
Yesterday, a 1st Infantry Division soldier died and two were wounded when a bomb exploded near Baqouba, the military said. The soldiers went to the area after ICDC forces notified them that a homemade bomb had been found.
In Fallujah, west of Baghdad, insurgents attacked a U.S. military convoy, and television footage showed an empty Humvee in flames. One Iraqi driver in a civilian car was killed in the cross fire.
With fewer than 100 days until the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority hands over power to Iraqis, U.S. and Iraqi officials expect insurgents to step up attacks to undermine the fledgling Iraqi government.
By Joy Overbeck
Redemption by government is futile
- Joe Biden's first Instagram pic mocked as shill for sunglass ad
- Obama taunts GOP, takes nationally televised victory lap on Obamacare
- Jews being told to register in Ukraine: John Kerry
- Cliven Bundy's Nevada ranch wrecked by retreating feds
- BOLTON: A 'three-state solution' for Middle East peace
- Rand and Ron Paul ride to the rescue for Bundy in Nevada standoff with feds
- 'Culture of intimidation' seen in Nevada ranch standoff
- Atheists rush to stage Easter display: 'Jesus Christ is a myth'
- IRS emails reveal discussion with Justice about suing nonprofits for election activities
- Army goes to war with National Guard, seizes Apache attack helicopters
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.