The Surge, Ctd


The laudable concentration on trying to reduce violence in Baghdad has unfortunately meant less security elsewhere. When you have destroyed the instruments of government, and sent a third of the troops necessary to keep order, the chaos is simply unstoppable - and will be unstoppable under these circumstances, indefinitely. The carnage in Karbala today is simply difficult for anyone who hasn't lived in a war-zone to understand, but among its many victims were women and children:

Two months into the U.S.-led Baghdad Security Plan, at least 289 people were killed and injured across Iraq on Saturday, including 36 dead in a car bomb attack in the holy Shiite city of Karbala. The carnage of a crowd teeming with women and children set off an angry mob of hundreds against the governor and police.

The morning bombing outside a bus station and marketplace ripped through vendor stands near a Shiite shrine where the grandson of the prophet Mohammed is buried. Bodies littered the street and body parts were found as far as 160 yards from the site of the explosion. Three buses of passengers were charred and storefronts lay in shambles.

At least 167 people were injured in the bombing, but the death toll was expected to increase because of still-unidentified bodies and serious injuries, said Saleem Kadhim, spokesman for the Karbala health directorate.

(Photo: An Iraqi rushes a wounded child into a hospital in the holy city of Karbala, 14 April 2007. A car bomb slaughtered 47 people in Iraq's pilgrimage city of Karbala today, the latest brazen attack to undermine a security crackdown exactly two months after it began in Baghdad. By Mohammed Sawaf/AFP/Getty Images)