In Iraq, violence continues as the new government starts discussing a permanent constitution. Insurgents struck at police and military targets in a series of morning attacks, while one suicide car bomber detonated his explosive-packed vehicle in a crowded civilian market.
An explosion in deposed president Saddam Hussein's hometown, &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/usa/2003/03/23/44875.html ' target=_blank>Tikrit, killed mostly civilians, after guards prevented the bomber from driving into a police station. Thwarted in his initial plan, the suicide attacker swerved his vehicle into a small local market.
Elsewhere, in western Iraq, another suicide bomber attacked an army recruiting center in Hawija, a heavily Sunni Arab town in the southwest of &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/war/2003/03/23/44872.html ' target=_blank>Kirkuk Province, inflicting heavy casualties among new recruits. Other suicide bombers set off three explosions around Baghdad in the same day of violence, reports VOA News.
According to FT News, more than 70 people were killed in at least five attacks across Iraq yesterday in a dramatic surge in insurgent violence that has overshadowed the rise to power of Iraq's first elected government.
The wave of attacks, which brings the total number of Iraqis dead over the past two weeks to nearly 400, has shattered the sense of optimism created by the January 30 elections.