By TIMOTHY THOMAS
On November 24, three bombs were detonated in the Baab al-Sharqi area of central Baghdad, killing several people and wounding many others. According to Al Jazeera, New Delhi TV, and The Star (Malaysia) these bombings raise the issue of Iraqi security after the US Troop removal by the end of the year deadline.
Most of the casualties from these explosions came from the final blast in a staggered pattern. After the first explosion and second explosion, police and other security personnel moved in to help the injured, and were then injured themselves in the third blast. Since the security forces and police took the biggest loss in these blasts, people are not blaming them (at least not directly) for these blasts.
NDTV indicates that this could be the work of Sunni extremists or Shi’a militants. No claim has been made on these attacks by any group as of yet, so this is purely speculation though Al Jazeera points out that the area that was attacked is primarily home to Shia residents and vendors. NDTV also points out that the area near the blasts is a Shi’ite stronghold.
Both the Star and Al Jazeera also make mention of another roadside bomb that hit a minibus (or truck) full of construction workers near Abu Gharib that was heading towards the capital.
All three of these sources clearly point out that the Iraqi security forces will have a difficult time covering the holes left by the US troops as they evacuate the country in the next month, and raise questions as to how secure the nation will be in the year to come. I think that NDTV gives the most in-depth review of the situation, whilst Al Jazeera simply offers a sampling of information, just enough to say that they covered the situation. The Star provides a little bit of a different insight from the Malaysian perspective, and definitely takes jabs at the incompetence of Iraqi defense capabilities.
No one will know exactly what the situation is until after the troops leave at year’s end, but I think it is safe to say that the Iraqis have a long way to go yet on their road to true independence.