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Daily Column
US Papers Sat: Attacks Kill 11 Iraqis, 1 GI
Lovelorn Iraqi Men Call on a Wartime IED-Setting Skills
By DANIEL W. SMITH 05/30/2009 02:00 AM ET
Today, there are only two pieces of original Iraq reporting, both in the New York Times. Though casualties haven’t been particularly high in recent days, the stream of them is steady. Some spurned young men are also reported to set IEDs either as revenge, or to further their cause.

From Baghdad
To start off the Times’ coverage, Rod Nordland reports that after six years of war, an anger management problem is present in Iraq. “That,” he says, “along with a lot of men with a lot of experience fashioning bombs and setting ambushes, makes for a lethal mix.” Nordland writes an interesting little article about something every jilted youngster has thought of doing, but which is actually occurring in Iraq.

Though the number isn’t high, and casualties have reported, this kind of bombing is frequent enough to warrant its own name among Iraqi security forces, a “love IED”. “These guys, they face any problem with their girlfriends, family, anyone, and they’re making this kind of I.E.D.,” said an Iraqi police captain.
The police say that many of the men are former insurgents who are no longer trying to kill foreign troops but who have an array of bomb-making skills and a stash of TNT. Even without explosives, a popular type of explosive device can be made from common household items including gasoline, a soda can and a plastic water bottle, with the innards of a cellphone as a remote detonator.

...“I’m a detective, and I don’t even know how to make one of these, but all these kids do,” the captain said. “There was a percentage of young men who were cooperating with the Al Qaeda organizations, or the Shia militias. They’ve changed their minds about fighting now, but they still have good experience in how to make I.E.D.’s.”
Examples are given of young men who turned to explosives for reasons of dissatisfaction in realms of both romance and school grades.

Campbell Robertson covers the deaths in attacks in Ninewa and Diyala on Friday. Other than the 11 Iraqi deaths reported, another is added to May’s record high tally for US military deaths since September.

The brief article has some particulars on the attacks, which include an IED attached to a motorbike, and the increasingly common practice of lobbing a grenade at a passing patrol - responsible for the death of the US service member in this case.
The increase in the number of deadly attacks on American forces may be related to the deadline of June 30, when the Iraqi-American security agreement signed last year dictates that coalition forces are to withdraw from the cities.

But Mosul is in many ways an exception to that deadline. An enormous American base on the edge of Mosul — a city that has remained a redoubt for the insurgency even as attacks have decreased substantially around the rest of Iraq — will remain open.
That’s all for today.

USA Today, no Saturday Edition.

Washington Post, Christian Science Monitor, Wall Street Journal, no original Iraq coverage.

Comments on the US Papers roundup are welcome at


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