Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Mortar Attack

I was at the internet cafe pulling down the full text version of the Senate Intelligence Committee Report when a loud boom shook the building. At first it appeared to have come from the direction of the Sheraton, leading me to believe that the hotel, which seems to be a missile magnet, had taken another hit. The father of one of Muhammad, one of the cafe workers, called to say that the Al Sadir Hotel had been hit. The Sadir was just around the corner--about two blocks from where I was, so I took off in that direction. When I arrived, I was informed by onlookers and by the Iraqi police that the explosion was caused by a mortar, which did not hit the hotel, but hit a nearby residence. Several residents told me that a small child was killed, and suggested that another was taken to the hospital. I did not have a translator with me, so I had difficulty getting information about the status of the parents. One thing worth highlighting is that the entire security and emergency services operation was handled by the Iraqis. When I have visited sites of previous attacks, there have generally been Coalition and Iraqi security forces working together, but today it was entirely run by the Iraqi Police. This is a good sign, suggesting that the IP is taking a greater role and more responsibility for Iraqi security.

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