Iranian-Backed Militia Blamed for Bombing

The New York Times has a good report on the bombing of a pet market in Baghdad yesterday that killed as many as 13 people. Last night, the American military said that it had detained four people associated with the bombing, and had found that it was the work of an Iranian-supported extremist group:

[Rear Adm. Gregory] Smith said the bomb was packed with ball bearings to maximize casualties and that it bore the hallmarks of a so-called special group, the military term for Shiite extremists who have broken with radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. The cleric called on his fighters to stand down in August.
“In raids overnight, Iraqi and coalition forces were able to identify and detain four members of a militia extremist group we assess as responsible for this horrific act of indiscriminate violence,” Smith said. “Based on subsequent confessions, forensics and other intelligence, the bombing was the work of an Iranian-backed special groups cell operating here in Baghdad.”

Admiral Smith said it was not known whether Iran had ordered the bombing or not.
Despite this incident and two bombings the same day that were attributed to al Qaeda, November is on pace to be the fourth consecutive month of declining civilian casualties in Iraq.
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