Tuesday, March 11, 2008

There’s Other News

I know it’s hard to believe, but there are other things going on in the world besides a governor caught in a sex scandal, a primary race between two Democrats, and Lisa Marie Presley suing a British tabloid.

A man walked up to a group of American soldiers on foot patrol in an upscale shopping district in central Baghdad on Monday and detonated the explosives-filled vest he was wearing, killing five soldiers and wounding three others and an Iraqi interpreter who accompanied them.

In eastern Diyala Province, north of the capital, three more American soldiers and an interpreter were also killed Monday when they were attacked with an improvised bomb, according to the military, which did not release any more details.

Another soldier was wounded in the blast.

The suicide bombing in Baghdad was the deadliest single attack on American soldiers in the capital since the height of the troop buildup here last summer. Nine Iraqi civilians were also wounded in the blast, according to officials at Yarmuk Hospital, where the victims were taken.

Reports from Iraqi witnesses suggest that the soldiers may have let down their guard because of the relative quiet of the last few months, leaving the safety of their Humvees and chatting with residents and shopkeepers.

Hours later, a car bomb exploded outside a hotel in the northern Kurdish city of Sulaimaniya, killing two people and wounding 30 in the first significant attack in that city in several years.

The attacks underscored how fragile security in Iraq remains despite a recent drop in violence and statements by American military officials that Sunni insurgents were on the run.

But don’t worry; if John McCain wins the election, we’ll always have this to fall back on long after the sex and the primaries, and perhaps long enough for Elvis’s grandchild to serve in the military in Iraq.