Insurgents Step Up Attacks in Iraq
Two Car Bombs in Two Cities Kill 14 Iraqis, U.S. Soldier
By Jackie Spinner and Fred Barbash
Washington Post Staff Writers
Tuesday, June 8, 2004; 10:36 AM
BAGHDAD, June 8 -- With 22 days to go before the new interim government takes office in Iraq, insurgents appeared to be stepping up their attacks Tuesday as U.S. officials had predicted they would in the run-up to June 30.
Nine Iraqis were killed and another 25 injured in downtown Mosul in a car bomb attack aimed at the City Hall there, according to the U.S. led Coalition Provisional Authority.
Separately, near the city of Baqubah, a suicide attacker near a forward U.S. base killed five Iraqis and an American soldier, wire services reported.
Outside Fallujah, the site of a long siege and battle in April, gunmen opened fire on U.S. Marines, touching off a fire fight that killed one Iraqi woman, wire services reported.
The gunmen, some wearing masks, attacked the police station in the town of Karma, 40 miles west of Baghdad. One witness, Abbas Khalaf, 40, said the gunmen had warned storeowners in the area to close before launching the attack, according to the wire service reports.
There was no word on casualties, if any.
Also Tuesday, U.S. and Iraqi officials announced that full control over the country's oil industry has been transferred to the interim government ahead of the June 30 transition.
"In the past, Iraqi oil was used in building palaces, buying weapons to achieve one person's goals," said Ayad Allawi, prime minister-designate, in a statement. "Today the most important natural resource has been returned to Iraqis, to serve all Iraqis. The new government will have full control of the oil revenues."
The Mosul blast appeared to be directed at two members of the Ninevah Provincial Council and the deputy police chief of Mosul, a Kurdish city in northern Iraq. They were traveling in a convoy near City Hall when the attack occurred, according to a U.S. military spokesman. The deputy police chief was wounded but not seriously. The council members were uninjured.
Witnesses said three bombers in an orange and white taxi were responsible for the attack, which engulfed nine vehicles at the scene in fire. No damage was reported to the City Hall building but other buildings in the immediate blast area had "significant damage," a U.S. spokesman said.
The bomb blast was the latest in a string of explosions in the weeks leading up to the formal handover of authority set for June 30.
It came as the U.N. Security Council appeared to be reaching a consensus on a resolution giving its imprimatur to the new regime and defining the security relationship between the U.S. occupation authority and the Iraqi government.
In the Baqubah attack, a suicide attacker detonated a car bomb during rush hour outside the American forward operating base War Horse in Baqubah, about 30 miles northeast of Baghdad.
The Reuters news service quoted military authorities as saying that at least five Iraqis and one American soldier were killed in the attack and that 15 Iraqis and 10 American soldiers were wounded while standing at a security checkpoint.
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