The Times's Alissa J. Rubin and Mudhafer al-Husaini report on the blast in Sadr City that killed four Americans, an Italian interpreter and six Iraqis. The blast happened at a district council meeting, and the Americans unwittingly were human shields for the council members, who all survived. Two of the Americans were soldiers and two were civilians working for the State and Defense departments. It was the second time in two days that Americans had died in meeting with local Iraqi leaders. The military blames rogue "Special Groups" for the attacks.
Ernesto Londoño of the Post has the story and injects a bit of drama into it, leading with the suggestion that a power struggle within in the council may have been a part of the bombing. Londoño makes the point that with the greater security, American forces and advisors have "waded deeply into Iraqi politics in an effort to build moderate and responsive government bodies." Much of Londoño's story centers on Steven L. Farley, the State Department official. The Post talks to Farley's son, who says his father was very enthusiastic that they were about to remove a pro-Moqtada al-Sadr council head and replace him with a less confrontational guy. Londo√±o also writes of a car bomb that went off in Mosul, wounding 90 people.
The Christian Science Monitor's Sam Dagher has a story on the attack, noting that it was "brazen" and indicates the difficulties the U.S. will face in marginalizing Sadr's movement. It also, he writes, raises serious doubts about the capabilities -- and loyalties -- of the Iraqi military, as the blast occurred in a location that was ostensibly sealed against such attacks.
Pamela Constable writes a story for the Post on the hard times Iraqi professionals are facing here in the United States as refugees. Not to be callous, but it's very similar to most of the hard-luck refugee stories you're going to read. That doesn't take away from the fact that the U.S. needs to step up and accept more refugees more quickly, pronto.
IN OTHER COVERAGE
USA Today and Wall Street Journal
No Iraq coverage today.