Major Islamic massacre by twin suicide bombing in Iraq – Diyala province with the capture of Leader of Al-Qaida in Iraq: Abu Omar al-Baghdadi
Iraq Suicide Bomb Attacks Kill or Injure Almost 200 (Update1)
By Caroline Alexander and Ali Sheikholeslami
April 23 (Bloomberg) — Two suicide bombings in Iraq left almost 200 people dead or injured, including Iranian Shiite Muslim pilgrims, as Iraqi security forces announced the arrest of al-Qaeda’s leader in the country.
There were at least 105 casualties among six busloads of Iranians targeted at a roadside restaurant in Diyala province as they traveled to a shrine in Karbala, Iran’s state-run Fars news agency said without providing details. Iraqi President Jalal Talabani’s Patriotic Union of Kurdistan said 70 were killed or wounded, while Agence France-Presse put the death toll at 45.
While violence has ebbed in the country as a whole after a surge in U.S. troops and as Sunni Muslim insurgents turned against al-Qaeda, the bombings highlight the fragility of the country’s security. There were no immediate claims of responsibility for today’s attacks.
In Baghdad, 31 people died, including 10 police officers, and 51 were hurt in a bombing in a square in the center of the capital, Fars said, citing the city’s police commander. A female suicide bomber carried out the attack, detonating her explosives belt in a crowd of civilians and Iraqi security forces in the Karradah neighborhood, the PUK said.
The al-Qaeda leader was captured by Iraqi security forces in Baghdad’s al-Risafa district, the PUK said on its Arabic- language Web site, citing security spokesman Major General Qassim Atta, who declined to provide further information.
Shiite pilgrims have frequently been targeted by Sunni insurgent groups, in incidents that Iraqi government officials say are aimed at stoking sectarian violence. Today’s attack on pilgrims is one of the deadliest assaults on Shiite worshippers in Iraq since 149 people were killed in March 2007 while heading to Karbala in buses and on foot. That was among the worst attacks since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.
Iraqi security officials identified the al-Qaeda leader captured today as Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, the PUK said. The Interior Ministry said in March 2007 that its forces had arrested al-Baghdadi, a claim it later retracted. In July 2007, the U.S. military said al-Baghdadi never existed.
Analysts have said Abu Omar al-Baghdadi may be a title invented by al-Qaeda to give any non-Iraqi leader of the group in Iraq an identity that would promote acceptance in the country. Last year al-Arabiya television identified al-Baghdadi as Hamid Dawoud al-Zawi. Fars today identified him as Abdullah Rashid Saleh, saying he was born in Baghdad in 1947 and went to Afghanistan in 1987 to meet with Osama bin Laden.
75 Killed in Iraq Blasts
Voice of America – April 23, 2009
By VOA News Two major suicide bombings in Iraq have claimed the lives of at least 75 people, one of the most violent days in the country in more than a year.
Suicide Bombers Kill More Than 70 in Baghdad, Diyala Province
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/story/2009/04/23/ST2009042302380.html Washington Post
Omar al-Baghdadi, head of an al Qaeda umbrella group called the Islamic State of Iraq, was seized in Baghdad during a major military operation, according to Gen. Qassim Atta, spokesman of the Baghdad Operations Command. advertisement. ISI encompasses most Iraqi insurgency groups, including al Qaeda in Iraq. …
At Least 75 People Are Killed in Two Attacks in Iraq… Mr. Baghdadi is the leader of the Islamic State of Iraq, an umbrella group of Sunni militant forces believed to include Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia. … New York Times