Feb 2003

TIME: Kurdistan: Death in the Afternoon


An unsuspecting taxi driver was both the vehicle and a victim of a suicide bombing in Northern Iraq, today — an attack that served as a reminder that there are no rules in the campaign by the Qaeda-linked Ansar al-Islam against the local Kurdish authorities. The fight for control of a tiny sliver of northern Iraq pitches fighters loyal to the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, which rules the eastern part of the territory liberated from Saddam Hussein in 1991, against Ansar, a small cadre of homegrown Islamic militants supported, trained and reinforced by Osama bin Laden's organization. And today, as a Bush administration envoy met Iraqi opposition leaders at Erbil, some 150 miles north of Halabja, Ansar played rough.