The market bombing campaign in Baghdad

The AP report on the latest bombing indicates a classic pattern:


Saturday's bombings employed what has become a classic insurgent tactic. First a suicide car bomber drove into the crowded market stalls in the busy New Baghdad commercial area shortly after noon, then detonated his explosives among the stores and kiosks selling food, clothes, household appliances and birds.

As people rushed to help the victims, a parked car bomb exploded. The 13 killed included two policemen; four officers were among the 42 wounded, police said.

Burned-out hulks of cars and vans littered the market. A bag of fruit lay in the twisted metal on the bloody pavement.

Farooq Haitham, the 33-year-old owner of a watch repair shop, said the area had been targeted by bombers before but shopkeepers had no choice but to keep opening their doors.

''What can we do? We want to live. We need the money so we come to work,'' Haitham said.

It was the latest in a series of attacks against commercial targets, in which more than 150 people have died since last Sunday. The attack signals a tough battle ahead as U.S. and Iraqi forces prepare for the security operation, a third bid to pacify the capital since Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki took power on May 25.

These attack suggest that the Sunnis are going to avoid the neighborhoods and concentrate on commercial targets with large gatherings. One of the ways to stop this type of attack is to limit traffic in the area to pedestrians during business hours and allow deliveries when the markets are not open. The enemy is focusing on car bombs in an effort to increase the number of non combatants killed. The story does not mention the war crimes involved in the enemy activity. Do the reporters not know? Or, do they just not care?


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