US: Shi'ite Militants Ordered Baghdad Bomb Attack to Incite ViolenceBy VOA News
18 June 2008

Empty coffins are seen outside Kazimiyah hospital as relatives wait to claim the bodies of victims of a car bombing in Baghdad, Iraq, 18 Jun 2008The 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 in the strongest terms, calling it a heinous terrorist attack.

Also today, coalition forces say they killed one terrorist and detained 15 suspected terrorists in operations targeting al-Qaida in the towns of Bi'aj and Mosul in northern Iraq.

In another attack Tuesday, Iraqi television news reporter Muhieddin Abdul-Hamid was shot dead near his home in the northern city of 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.

voa news