Tuesday’s deadly attack at a US military base in northern Iraq was probably the work of a suicide bomber who evaded security, according to Washington. General Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, ended 36 hours of confusion yesterday, saying: “At this point it looks like it was an improvised explosive device worn by an attacker.”
Defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld hinted that January’s elections in Iraq would not prevent a repeat of such attacks. He told reporters: “Looking for a peaceful Iraq after the elections would be a mistake. I think our expectations level ought to be realistic about that.”
Rumsfeld said he was truly saddened by claims he was failing in his duty to protect troops, after being asked how security could have been breached at the base in Mosul. The Ansar al-Sunna militant group has claimed responsibility for the blast in the dining tent that killed 13 US troops, five US civilians and four Iraqis. US forces have blocked bridges and raided homes in Mosul in their hunt for suspects.