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A day of horror in Iraq that seemed in the past

A couple of years ago, Iraq was beset with sectarian strife, with Sunnis and Shias attacking each other. Shia death squads (along with infiltration in the army and police) would kill Sunnis in the capital Baghdad, and in other areas under their control, and Sunni dominated groups such as Al-Qaeda in Iraq and other such groups would attack both the US army, and place bombs in cities, destroying houses, Government buildings, and markets. The civilian casualty was horrendous. And then the US had the surge, which cleaned up Baghdad and allowed the liberty of having enough troops to attack the Iraqi groups. This, combined with a strategy of enlisting Sunni groups under an Awakening program (where the US paid Sunni men to fight against the terrorists rather than for them) reduced the mayhem in Iraq to the level that the US could hand over major cities in Iraq to the Iraqi security forces.
However, the Government of Prime Minister al-Maliki is Shia dominated, and he has not continued with the policy of handling the Awakening members the same way as the US military used to do. Further, since he has to handle the local population (and get elected), he would loosen some of the security restrictions that the US military had implemented (such as multiple check-points, attacking suspected terror cells, setting blast walls to contain the force of explosions), and so on. One result is that the security situation in Iraq is being challenged as never before (link to article):

A series of bombings rocked Iraq’s capital within one hour Wednesday, killing at least 95 people and wounding 563 others, an Iraqi Interior Ministry official said. The six explosions marked the country’s deadliest day since the United States pulled its combat troops from Iraqi cities and towns nearly two months ago and left security in the hands of the Iraqis. In one attack, a truck bomb exploded outside the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The blast blew through the front of the building, sending some vehicles flying and leaving others in mangled twists of metal in the area, which is just outside the restricted International Zone, also known as the Green Zone.
“The terrorism attacks that took place today require, without a doubt, the re-evaluation of our plans and our security mechanisms to face the challenges of terrorism,” Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said in a written statement.
Since then, al-Maliki has ordered his government to remove the concrete blast walls that line Baghdad’s streets and surround whole neighborhoods. The government has also removed some checkpoints, including one on the road where the bombing near the Ministry of Foreign Affairs occurred. That checkpoint had contained bomb-detection equipment.

Even though, Shia clergy has managed to appeal for calm and prevented retaliatory attacks, one wonders if such attacks continue and are not stopped, how long will this calm continue ?

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