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US Papers Wed: Sadr City Dangers Remain for US
Bombing at district council meeting kills four Americans; Iraqis struggle in US
By CHRIS ALLBRITTON 06/25/2008 01:28 AM ET
It was a deadly day for Americans in Sadr City, as a brazen morning attack on a district council killed four of them, along with six Iraqis. Both The New York Times and the Washington Post have good roundups on the bombing.

Over there
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.

Home front
Dana Hedgpeth of the Post reports that two of the principle defendants in the largest bribery case out of the war in Iraq pleaded guilty yesterday.

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

New York Times
Thomas L. Friedman writes that Iraqis may finally be liberating themselves and taking ownership of their country.

USA Today and Wall Street Journal
No Iraq coverage today.

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