Friday, April 11, 2003
Victory is sweet.
US forces in Iraq grappled with looting and civil disorder, scattered gun fights, the murder of a Shi'ite religious leader and a suicide bomb attack that took an American life today, one day after the euphoria that marked the end of Saddam Hussein's rule.
A suicide bomber detonated explosives at a US checkpoint in the capital killing one American.
A US military source said the suicide attack was in Saddam City, an impoverished suburb in the north of Baghdad.
The suicide attack came hours after one Marine was killed and more than 20 wounded in a four-hour battle with Saddam loyalists firing from the Imam al-Adham Mosque on the east bank of the Tigris river.
As reality set in following yesterday's wild celebrations, the United States also faced political complications with Turkey after Kurdish fighters took the northern city of Kirkuk in a bloodless rout of Iraqi forces.
US special forces and Army troops entered the key oil center shortly afterward but were not in control of the city.
In the holy city of Najaf, Iraqi Shi'ite leader Abdul Majid al-Khoei and an aide were stabbed to death by a mob in an attack in the Imam Ali Mosque, the city's holiest shrine. The murder seemed certain to inflame emotions among Shi'ites, who make up 60 per cent of the population.
I don't know, I had a feeling the celebrations yesterday were a little premature. This war is indeed far from over yet.