Accessibility links

US: Shi'ite Militants Ordered Baghdad Bomb Attack to Incite Violence

The U.S. military says a renegade Shi'ite group ordered Tuesday's deadly car bomb attack on a Shi'ite neighborhood in Baghdad to incite sectarian violence against Sunnis.

Military spokesman Steven Stover Wednesday said the attack, which killed 63 people and wounded 75 others, was the work of a so-called Shi'ite "special group" led by Haydar Mehdi Khadum al-Fawadi.

Stover said Fawadi ordered the attack to stop Sunni resettlement of the Hurriyah neighborhood.

Tuesday's bombing was the deadliest in the Iraqi capital in more than three months, when U.S. and Iraqi forces began observing a truce with Shi'ite militants.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the bombing, calling it a heinous terrorist attack.

In other news, Iraqi police today said a roadside bomb killed a policeman and wounded at least two others in the northern city of Kirkuk.

And in Mosul, another car bomb exploded, wounding at least eight people.

Also today, coalition forces said they killed one terrorist and detained 15 suspected terrorists in operations targeting al-Qaida in northern Iraq.

On Tuesday, an Iraqi television news reporter was shot dead near his home in Mosul.

Elsewhere, Iraqi officials say insurgents in the southern province of Maysan have handed over large numbers of weapons ahead of a crackdown by Iraqi security forces.

Iraq's government has ordered insurgents in Maysan to surrender their weapons by Thursday, when Iraqi forces are expected to start operations to demilitarize the province.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.