A Month of Attacks Focused on Iraqi Markets
Deadly bombings occur nearly every day in Baghdad, or elsewhere in Iraq. In the month of February, attacks continued to focus on the markets that are at the center of Iraqi life. They are prime targets for an insurgency seeking to disrupt the rhythms of life.
Here is a list of major attacks on markets that took place in the month of February:
- Feb. 1: Bombings south of Baghdad killed as many as 73 people at an outdoor market.
- Feb. 3: A bombing at the Jamila Food Market killed an estimated 135 people.
- Feb. 8: South of Baghdad, a car bomb killed about 15 people at a meat market. The same day, a suicide bomber struck a bakery in an upscale Baghdad neighborhood.
Also that day, a new American general took over command of American forces in Iraq. Gen. David Petraeus arrived with a mandate to restore security to the capital. He'd been on the job just a matter of days when a series of explosions killed dozens at markets in central Baghdad.
- Feb. 14: President Bush laid out a definition of success in Iraq as "a society in which there is relative peace." That same day a car bomb killed two people at a Baghdad market.
- Feb. 17: Car bombs killed several people in the city of Kirkuk. Then a car bomb struck a Baghdad vegetable market.
- Feb. 28: A market bombing killed 10 more people.
Saleem Amer, an Iraqi NPR employee in Baghdad, says that the constant threat of bombing has changed the way people live.
"I used to go every day to shop for my family," Amer said. "But now ... I minimize everything. I have one time every week to go outside and shop."
Because of the danger in traveling to Baghdad's large markets, Ameer says that some neighborhood merchants have started offering to procure items for locals and deliver them home.
The current U.S.-Iraqi security initiative is paying dividends in Amer's neighborhood. He said that U.S. forces went house-to-house Wednesday in a search for Mahdi Army militia members. The action netted a number of people Amer described as "bad guys."
"Today we have more checkpoints by the U.S. soldiers ... and everybody is so happy in the neighborhood," Amer said.
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