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Wednesday, January 19, 2011     INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING

Suicide bomber's 'slaughter' of police cadets marks bloodiest Al Qaida bombing this year

BAGHDAD — Al Qaida has resumed attacks on Iraqi security forces.


An Al Qaida suicide bomber blew himself up and killed at least 50 police cadets in Tikrit, Middle East Newsline reported. The Jan. 18 bombing, which also injured about 150, marked the bloodiest Al Qaida attack so far this year.

"Who else would it be but Al Qaida, who keep on slaughtering us?" Saleh Eddin deputy Gov. Ahmed Abdul Jabbar asked.

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The attack, with the highest death toll since October, sparked criticism of the government's counter-insurgency campaign. In August, in a similar attack, 59 people were killed in an Al Qaida suicide bombing of an Army recruitment center in Baghdad. Since then, the government of Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki, who has begun his second term, insisted that the AQI leadership was decimated.

"We will follow the case closely until we find who is responsible, and the reasons that let this tragic catastrophe happen," Al Maliki said.

Officials said Al Qaida repeated its long-employed tactic of infiltrating a suicide bomber in a crowd of police recruits. About 300 people had been waiting outside the recruitment center when the blast took place in the morning hours. Recruits receive a salary of $500 per month.

Over the last year, Al Qaida has reduced its operations amid the capture or killing of senior commanders. But AQI has sustained its insurgency campaign in Salah Eddin, a largely Sunni province.

"Once again the terrorists returned to their usual tactics of killing the innocent and targeting the brave young people who wanted to serve their country and defend it," Maliki said. "The repetition of this heinous crime in the same style (as the August attack) confirms there is something wrong in (the methods used for) identifying those who are responsible," he said.

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