Boy, this sure sounds familiar.
News reports say perhaps a 150 Iraqis in the southern town of Madain have been taken hostage by Sunni militants.
This Sunni/Shia thing in the south seems to have a life of its own. Is it really a part of the larger insurgency or an add-product of it?
"The trouble in Madain, about 30km (20 miles) south-east of Baghdad, began on Thursday when Sunni militants placed explosives inside a local mosque, said Haitham Husseini, a spokesman for the Supreme Council of Islamic Revolution (Sciri) - Iraq's largest Shia group.
Mr Husseini told the Associated Press news agency that the rebels returned on Friday to seize the hostages.
"There were about 100 masked men, riding in cars, roaming the city. They took hostages from the Shia youth and old men, and demanded the Shias leave the city," he said."
All quiet on the Iraqi front?
We've benn hearing alot about how after the elections the rate of insuurgent attacks has gone down and the insurgency is peetering out etc.
Of course, if you know anything about war, you know the sping time is always the time when all hell breaks loose. Remember last April in Iraq? The first major attack on Fallujah, a hundred and fifty U.S. troops killed in April? Armies always regroup in the late winter and let loose in the the middle of April.
Newsday reported, just this past few days, never mind all the car bombs earlier on...
"...at least 17 people were killed Saturday in separate attacks nationwide after a week of increased violence in Iraq....
Later Saturday, insurgents fired mortars at a U.S. Marine base near Ramadi, 70 miles west of Baghdad, the military said, but no casualties were immediately reported.
Residents said dozens of fighters armed with grenade launchers and other weapons were seen moving through the city after dark and loud explosions were heard as the fighters tried to force their way into Camp Blue Diamond.
Two U.S. soldiers also were reported killed in separate attacks. One soldier from the 42nd Military Police Brigade was wounded and died when his convoy was hit Saturday by an explosive device near Taji, north of Baghdad. Another died of injuries sustained when a coalition military base was attacked Friday near Tikrit. [Current death toll: 1,553.]
What the hell is going at Camp Bucca? Abu Ghraib is a tea party compared to this place!
In southeastern Iraq, 11 detainees angry over their treatment by U.S. captors broke out of Camp Bucca, the military's largest detention center in the nation by climbing through a hole in the fence.
Ten were recaptured, and authorities were searching for the remaining escapee, the U.S. military and Iraqi forces said."
This place seems to be ground zero in Iraq. From day one it has been messed up.
"According to the Taguba report, the Camp Bucca facility is "significantly over [its] intended maximum capacity while the guard force is undermanned and under resourced". The report describes the following "incident of detainee abuse" at Camp Bucca, on May 12, 2003. [And we've got more Iraqis now behind bars than at anytime since the invasion!]
Soldiers from the 223rd MP Company reported to the 800th MP Brigade Command at Camp Bucca, that four Military Police Soldiers from the 320th MP Battalion had abused a number of detainees during inprocessing at Camp Bucca.
An extensive CID investigation determined that four soldiers from the 320th MP Battalion had kicked and beaten these detainees following a transport mission from Talil Air Base.
After the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal, many detainees from Abu Ghraib were transferred to Camp Bucca."
And then, during all the mudwrestling and rioting...
["On January 31, 2005, a riot broke out in which detainees reportedly threw rocks and may have fashioned weapons out of tent poles. The riot was dispelled by the use of lethal force. Four detainees were killed and six were injured. As is standard procedure in all cases of prison riots and the use of lethal force, the matter is under investigation by the U.S. Army?s Criminal Investigations Division."]
...apparently a bunch of them decided to dig some tunnels, one of which was "200 metres long and the other 100 metres long...," and get the hell out of "camp crazy."
So rest assured, every thing is under control in the free and sovereign state of Iraq. Freedom is on the march!
[Don't even think about what is going on in Kirkuk and the newly restared war in South eastern Turkey aginst the PKK> That won't effect us, right? See my lengthy mussings on the Kurds and Kirkuk. Some of which is from Feb. 11th. There's more all over this blog, though. I'm all over the Kurdish issue!]