At Kut, near Iraq’s border with Iran, the bodies of 22 men, all shot dead, lie decomposing in the desert heat. They’ve been here for several days according to police – and are just a few of the victims of the seemingly endless violence that is sweeping Iraq.
There has also been a bomb explosion in Najaf at the home of a bodyguard of Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadar, and a suicide bombing in Tel Afar.
The bomber was a woman, whom Al-Qeada described as a member of its“martydom-seeking batallion”. She killed at least seven people outside an army recruitment centre.
These suicide attacks happen on almost a daily basis and have shown no signs of abating in the run-up to a vote on the constitution in October and hoped-for national elections in December. US President George Bush warned that more is to come.“Two key elections are fast approaching. As these milestones approach, we can expect there to be increasing violence from the terrorists.”
But he said the killing of Abu Azzam, caled al-Qaeda’s number two in Iraq, was proof that the US military strategy is working.