- Shoe-bomb witness to speak from London at N.Y. trial
- New evidence could threaten Army sex assault case
- George Zimmerman signs autographs at Orlando gun show
- GOP lawmaker faces fire for NBA crime tweet
- Taliban vow to ‘use all force’ to disrupt Afghan elections
- Atheists sue to remove ‘Ground Zero Cross’ from 9/11 museum
- Bishop in Aleppo: ‘We Christians live in fear in Syria’
- Oscar Pistorius vomits during graphic testimony
- Toronto Mayor Rob Ford flubs daylight saving time advice: ‘Turn your clocks back’
- Americans don’t support sending U.S. troops to Ukraine
Chlorine cache found in Iraq
BAGHDAD — U.S. troops sweeping Baghdad have found containers of nitric acid and chlorine, raising concerns that insurgents are expanding their use of chemicals in the war for power in Iraq, military officials said yesterday.
The containers were found as part of a larger cache of weapons discovered as U.S. and Iraqi troops cleared house after house in the Sunni-majority Ghazaliyah neighborhood in western Baghdad.
In a new twist in the Iraqi conflict, chlorine gas set off by suicide bombers in villages west of Baghdad killed at least eight and sickened hundreds last week. It was the first time the chemical was found in the capital.
Although both nitric acid and chlorine have a variety of industrial uses, finding them alongside weapons stashes in known terrorist havens signified a change of tactic for the fighters, said a U.S. military official who asked not to be named.
“We’ve seen them use caustic acid with improvised explosive devices to burn the skin,” said the official, adding that although the acid does not increase the lethality of a bomb, it does make it “nastier.”
About 1,600 Iraqi and U.S. forces have been taking part in the operations aimed at ridding Baghdad’s Mansour area of both al Qaeda terrorists and illegal militias.
In one house in nearby Amariyah raided by Iraqi troops and the U.S. Army’s Striker Brigade yesterday, soldiers found mortar shells stored in a bag in the front yard, along with a meat cleaver and a bomb fashioned from a propane tank.
Inside the house, clothing, photographs and children’s toys were piled high in filthy corners. Black and white banners declared the rule of the Islamic Army, a Sunni extremist group.
Iraqi army soldiers spread out the munitions plus an array of license plates on the sidewalk before U.S. explosives specialists came to detonate the propane tank. The explosion shook houses in the area.
Frightened neighbors nervously acknowledged to U.S. soldiers that a group of young men had been squatting in the house during the day, but would not offer any more information, and clammed up the moment Iraqi army soldiers entered the house.
“When you leave, the Iraqi army comes in here and asks us what we told you,” said the man, smoking cigarette after cigarette.
Earlier in the week, soldiers found an Iraqi policeman in uniform tied to a post, blindfolded, shot in the abdomen and left to die, a clear intimidation tactic as troops try to secure Baghdad’s volatile neighborhoods.
Iraqi and U.S. forces have detained dozens of people during their raids, holding them for further questions.
In other developments yesterday, the U.S. military said it captured two brothers who were “directly connected” to the Jan. 20 sneak attack that killed five U.S. soldiers guarding the provincial headquarters in Karbala, a city 50 miles south of Baghdad, the Associated Press reported.
Qais al-Khazaali, his brother Laith al-Khazaali and several other members of their network were rounded up over the past three days.
Taxpayers must pay the freight for over-budget train projects
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Senate Democrats, Republicans spar over restoring unemployment benefits
- CURL: Today's GOP really is Reagan's 'Big Tent' party
- Mitch McConnell on beating tea party: 'We are going to crush them'
- Rand Paul wins 2014 CPAC straw poll, Ted Cruz finishes a distant second
- Arrest made in Ohio bar shooting that killed 3
- SAUERBREY: Taxing Marylanders until they flee
- As Crimea falls, Obama takes Key Largo golf vacation, Biden hits Virgin Islands
- Charges filed against accused 'shadow campaign' financier
- Bill Clinton poses for photo with Bunny Ranch prostitutes
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again