Yesterday, we noted an uprising against al Qaeda by Sunni residents of west Baghdad who were fed up with the terrorists. Today, a follow-up from the Associated Press as the revolt spreads; it’s an interesting story, and maybe an important one:
An al-Qaida-linked suicide bomber struck a safehouse occupied by an insurgent group that has turned against the terror network. Friday’s attack northeast of Baghdad killed two other militants, police said, the latest sign that an internal Sunni power struggle is spreading.
The explosion in Baqouba came as Iraqi and U.S. troops fanned out in the Sunni stronghold of Amariyah in the capital, enforcing an indefinite curfew after heavily armed residents clashed with al-Qaida in Iraq fighters, apparently fed up with the group’s brutal tactics.
“Al-Qaida fighters and leaders have completely destroyed Amariyah,” said Abu Ahmed, a 40-year-old Sunni father of four who said he joined in the clashes. “No one can venture out, and all the businesses are closed. They kill everyone who criticizes them and is against their acts even if they are Sunnis.”
Other residents, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they feared retribution, said the clashes began after al-Qaida militants abducted and tortured Sunnis from the area. That prompted a large number of residents, including many members of the rival Islamic Army armed with guns and rocket-propelled grenades, to rise up against the terror network. U.S. forces joined them in the fighting Wednesday and Thursday.
Al Qaeda is on the retreat in Anbar, as well, as local Sunnis have joined forces with American soldiers. It’s impossible to say how important this will turn out to be, but any time terrorists are being killed, it’s a good thing.
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