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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

So where are all the WMDs that were supposedly in Iraq? According to the Old Grey Lady, they’re apparently… er, in Iraq.

For the third time in a month, insurgents deployed a new and deadly tactic against Iraqi civilians today: A chemical bomb combining explosives with poisonous chlorine gas.

A pickup truck carrying canisters of the gas, which burns the skin and can be fatal after only a few concentrated breaths, exploded near a diesel-fuel station in southwestern Baghdad, killing at least 5 people and sending another 75 to hospitals, wheezing and coughing, for treatment, Interior Ministry and medical officials said.

On Tuesday, a tanker truck filled with chlorine exploded north of Baghdad, killing 9 people and wounding 148, including 42 women and 52 children.

At least one other attack with chlorine occurred on Jan. 28 in the Sunni-dominated province of Anbar, according to American military statements. Sixteen people died after a dump truck with explosives and a chlorine tank blew up in Ramadi.

The attacks had the potential to be much deadlier, but seem to have been poorly executed, burning much of the chemical agent rather than spreading it. Still, Iraqi and American officials condemned the attacks as an effort to bring a new level of fear and havoc to Iraq as a new security plan for Baghdad takes shape.

.: posted by Dave 4:05 PM

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