A bomb has killed 29 people and injured 60 others in the Sadr City district of Baghdad. The explosion happened as labourers, looking for work, gathered in a square in the predominately Shiite region. A local leader said this was the second blast in six days in the area and blamed the presence of American troops, searching for a soldier who was kidnapped a week ago. More than three years after the US-led invasion, neither the Iraqi leaders nor the Americans can ensure stability in the country.
More than 100 people die every day in sectarian violence in Iraq. Many more are injured. 99 US troops have died in combat in October alone, the highest toll in almost two years. Polls in America show a growing number of people want the soldiers to come home. Their dissatisfaction could cause the defeat of President Bush’s Republican party in mid-term elections in November and see them lose control of Congress.
The US President has agreed to step up efforts to built up local security forces, a key move ahead of an eventual withdrawal. But Iraq’s government says it plans to ask the UN Security Council to ensure the presence of US-led forces in the country for another year.