Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Progress?: Bomber Kills 16 at Iraqi Reconciliation Banquet

New York Times: A suicide bomber blew himself up on Monday at a banquet intended to be a reconciliation feast between provincial officials and former Sunni insurgents in Diyala Province, killing 16 people and wounding at least 28.

Among the wounded were the provincial governor, the regional police chief and the local military commander, local police officials said. At least one former insurgent leader was killed, they said.

The gathering was of the type that is a cornerstone of American plans to reconcile former insurgents with the Iraqi government and enlist their help in fighting Sunni extremist groups. The strategy has produced security gains in Sunni areas in western Iraq, and the military is trying to repeat that success in places like Diyala, a mixed area of Sunnis and Shiites north of Baghdad.

The American military confirmed that American officers had attended the meeting, held at a Shiite mosque in an outlying district of Baquba, the provincial capital. It said soldiers had been attacked by a suicide bomber, but said nothing about any wounded or dead among the Americans. (More)

LSB: Glass half full - at least there was an attempt at a reconciliation; glass half empty - the provincial governor, the regional police chief, the local military commander, at least one former insurgent leader, and possibly some Americans were killed, ending the reconciliation feast if not the actual reconciliation. Bottom line: is this the "progress" we're being promised by Shrub and Darth?

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