Ten people killed in Iraq violence
* Al Qaeda behind rise in Iraq car bombs, says US Army
* Websites instructing snipers
BAGHDAD: Gunmen shot dead Iraqi interior ministry official Brigadier Ibrahim Khamas as he left his home in Baghdad on Wednesday, police said, and Al Qaeda’s wing in Iraq claimed responsibility for the assassination in an Internet statement.
Police said the Khamas’s wife, who worked in the ministry’s criminal intelligence department, was wounded in the attack. Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi network Al Qaeda in Iraq claimed responsibility for the killing. “Your brothers in al Qaeda in Iraq set off this morning to pick off a major apostate and agent, one of America’s henchmen, the police chief Ibrahim Khamas. God made possible his assassination near the Diyala Bridge,” said the Qaeda statement.
In other violence, police said the seven Iraqi Turkmen captured in an ambush on a security convoy near Falluja were found dead on Wednesday, shot in the head and with their hands bound.
Khalidiya police station’s Captain Ahmad Ali said the bodies were dumped south of Falluja in Anbar province. Identity documents showed the men were ethnic Turkmen from Kirkuk who were working for a security firm, he said.
Two Iraqi police were also killed in a suicide car bomb attack near the oil refinery town of Baiji, said police captain Ali Yousef. The bomb targeted a US-Iraqi convoy around 2300 GMT on the road near Siniya, he said.
Meanwhile, a senior US military official said the upsurge in car bomb attacks was ordered by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, at a meeting of insurgents in Syria.
The shift towards more car bomb attacks is part of a wave of violence has killed over 400 Iraqis in the past three weeks and marks a change in tactics by an ever adapting insurgency, said the officer asking not to be named.
Zarqawi “wasn’t happy with how the insurgency was going”, the official told reporters, adding that the Jordanian militant had ordered greater use of vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs), the US military acronym for car bombs. He said, “Zarqawi directed that people start using more VBIEDs and to use them more in everyday operations.”
As one indicator of the shift in tactics, the number of car bombs in Baghdad, including those discovered before insurgents could detonate them, is 126 since the end of February, including 21 so far this month, said the officer.
In Washington, ABC News reported that websites operated by Iraqi insurgents have posted instructions showing potential recruits how to become snipers and urged them to target US military officers and pilots in order to inflict higher damage. ABC said the Pentagon was in the process of informing its military commanders in Iraq about the websites. “Websites maintained by Iraqi insurgents and their supporters contain chilling instructions that tell recruits how to become snipers and how to inflict the maximum damage,” said the network. ABC said one website even features an interactive training exercise titled ‘Who would you shoot?’ “If you had only one shot,” the site asks, “who should you kill?” Users can choose from several options, and then they are told the “correct” answer. agencies