April 17, 2014

Elyria
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Suicide attacks kill 144 in Iraq

Sudarsan Raghavan
The Washington Post
BAGHDAD — Suicide attacks across Iraq killed at least 144 people and injured scores in an 18-hour period, including a massive truck bombing in a northern Shiite village that ripped through a crowded market, burying dozens in the rubble of shops and mud houses, Iraqi officials said Saturday.
Shattering a relative lull in Iraq’s violence, the attacks raised questions about whether insurgents who have fled an ongoing military offensive in Baghdad and Diyala province are regrouping and assaulting soft targets elsewhere, in less-secure areas with fewer troops.
The violence came as the U.S. military on Saturday reported that eight American soldiers were killed over the past two days, all in combat or by roadside bombs in Baghdad and the western province of Anbar. The fatalities underscored the mounting death toll from the five-month security offensive, reinforced by thousands of U.S. troops, that is meant to help Iraq meet political and security goals set by the Bush administration.
The worst carnage occurred in the Shiite Turkmen village of Armili, 50 miles south of the oil-rich city of Kirkuk, when a suicide bomber detonated a food truck laden with explosives in the central market at 9:30 a.m., officials said.
Police and provincial officials put the death toll at 115 but said they expected the number to rise.