- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 20, 2005

BAGHDAD — Terrorist strikes against Shi’ite Muslim targets in Iraq mounted yesterday, as one suicide bomber killed 36 persons at a funeral and another killed 13 at a market.

Elsewhere, five American soldiers were killed by roadside bombs near the town of Beiji, about 155 miles north of Baghdad.

U.S. and Iraqi forces also raided a suspected al Qaeda hide-out in Mosul, where Iraqi authorities said at least seven insurgents died — three committing suicide to prevent capture. Four Iraqi police officers were killed and 11 American troops wounded, Iraqi and U.S. officials said.

More than 120 Shi’ites have died in attacks since Friday, when suicide bombers hit two mosques.

Yesterday’s bombings of a funeral and a market were the latest in a wave of attacks by Sunni insurgents since last weekend, when U.S. and Iraqi forces discovered mistreated detainees in a secret underground prison in Baghdad run by the government’s Interior Ministry.

The soldiers found 173 men, most of them Sunnis, many malnourished and some showing signs of having been tortured.

The sectarian rancor spilled into a meeting of Iraqi tribal and political leaders, held in Cairo, that featured an angry walkout by Shi’ites and Kurds.

Both delegations said they had been “insulted” by the representative from an Iraqi Christian sect. They returned to the meeting after Arab foreign ministers, including Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal, intervened and arranged for an apology.

In Iraq, the attack on the funeral occurred as mourners offered condolences to Raad Majid, head of the municipal council in the village of Abu Saida, over the death of his uncle. Abu Saida is near Baqouba, a religiously mixed city 35 miles northeast of Baghdad.

Police said about 50 people were injured.

Ambulances yesterday streamed into the main hospital in Baqouba. Many of the wounded were rushed directly into operating rooms.

But hospital facilities were so crowded that dazed and bloodied survivors — many with serious injuries — lay in agony on gurneys in the hallways because of the surgery backlog.

In the other attack, a car bomb exploded in a crowd of shoppers at an outdoor market in a mostly Shi’ite neighborhood on the southeast edge of Baghdad, killing 13 and wounding about 20 others, police reported.

Five American soldiers assigned to the 3rd Brigade Combat Team of the 101st Airborne Division died in a pair of roadside bombings near Beiji, the U.S. command said. Five others from the unit were wounded.

Another soldier from the 101st died in a U.S. hospital in Germany of injuries suffered two days ago when his vehicle was deliberately rammed by an Iraqi car near Beiji, the U.S. command said.

At least 2,090 members of the U.S. military have died since the war began in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count.

In Mosul, 225 miles northwest of Baghdad, Iraqi officials said police and U.S. soldiers surrounded a house before dawn after reports that members of a terror group, al Qaeda in Iraq, were inside, said Brig. Said Ahmed al-Jubouri, a Mosul police spokesman.

As a fierce gunbattle broke out, three insurgents detonated explosives and killed themselves. Five more died fighting. Four police officers also were killed.

In the Shi’ite city of Karbala, masked gunmen killed five members of Saddam Hussein’s Ba’ath Party, police said.

Three children were killed and one was wounded when mortar rounds fired at a U.S. base about 50 miles south of Baghdad fell short and struck a house, police said.

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