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Behind the Mansour Hotel Bombing

Conflict Forum writes:

The noon time bombing that killed a dozen Iraqis at Baghdad’s Mansour Melia Hotel on June 25 continues to reverberate through Iraq — and through the American military high command. This was not a “typical” bombing (if there is such a thing in Iraq): it was well-planned and executed and the bomber was required to penetrate three levels of security, which included armed guards deployed by Iraq’s Defense Ministry. The bomb’s detonation was so powerful that it blew the doors off the Mansour’s heavily enforced dining room and caved in the dining room ceiling, according to a hotel employee.

Among the 12 dead were six members of the Anbar Salvation Council, including Sheik Fassal al-Gaood (a council leader and a former governor of Anbar and Sheik of the al-Bu Nimir tribe), Sheik Abdul-Aziz al-Fahdawi of the Fahad tribe, Sheik Tariq Saleh al-Assafi and Colonel Fadil al-Nimrawi, both from the al-Bu Nimr tribe and aides to al-Gaood. In the wake of the blast, an Iraqi police source identified two more assassinated leaders: Iraqi General Aziz al-Yasari and Sheik Husayn Sha’lan al-Khaza’i of the Khaza’a tribe. Rahim al-Maliki, a well-known Iraqi poet and television producer was also killed at the hotel, as well as three of al-Gaood’s bodyguards. Several other sheiks were injured in the blast, including Sheik Ali Khalifa, Sheik Ribah al-’Alawani and Shaykh Diham al-’Abidi.

The tribal leaders were coming to the hotel to meet with a delegation of government representatives including Ahmad Chalabi, none of whom had yet arrived, according to Iraqi government officials.

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