Saturday, June 02, 2007

Insurgents bomb, severely damage another major bridge

Attacks on bridges have been increasing since the destruction of Baghdad's Sarafiya Bridge, shown above, in early April.

BAGHDAD, June 2 — Bomb blasts severely damaged a bridge linking a highway from Baghdad with the northern city of Kirkuk on Saturday, the police and witnesses said, heightening tensions between Arabs and Kurds and forcing traffic to detour through some of the most dangerous areas of Diyala Province...

The destruction of the Sarha bridge, about 100 miles north of Baghdad and one of the busiest crossings for vehicles moving between the capital and Kirkuk, appeared to be part of an effort by Sunni insurgents to isolate Kirkuk and limit interaction between residents of different areas and sects.

Salah al-Mufaraji, a prominent tribal leader who lives near the Sarha bridge, said groups aligned with Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia were responsible for the bombing.

“Gunmen move through the area freely amid the absence of the government and because the security forces can’t control the area,” he said. “All the people living here have announced allegiance to Al Qaeda out of fear and because they can’t confront it.”

Read the rest at the NY Times

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