Lots happening in Iraq today, both good and bad. As expected, Sultan Hashem Ahmad al-Jabburi al-Tai, Saddam Hussein’s Defense Minister, surrendered to American forces. Apparently a deal was struck whereby Ahmad will be treated with an extraordinary degree of respect and consideration. He is to be struck from the “55 most wanted” list and is not expected to be imprisoned. Whether this is because he has knowledge of exceptional value, or kindness toward him is considered valuable in gaining the allegiance of tribesmen in an unsettled part of the country, is not clear.
Also, soldiers from the 4th Infantry Division carried out a raid resulting in the capture of 55 Iraqis, including those suspected of carrying out yesterday’s coordinated attacks on American soldiers.
Unfortunately, a major explosion is also reported to have rocked central Baghdad: “a huge cloud of smoke was seen rising from the direction of Martyrs’ Square, where the American military maintains a base. The explosion shook the Palestine Hotel about 2 1/2 miles away from where it was believed to have occurred. No other details were available.”
UPDATE: Good news. The bomb apparently was “a roadside bomb that detonated prematurely [and] blew up in a pile of garbage.” No injuries are reported.
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