AM: "...the official end of the American-led war in Iraq"
June 25, 2009
Michael spoke briefly with John Roberts this morning about the current attempt to reignite the sectarian violence again.
JOHN ROBERTS: In five days' time, U.S. troops are scheduled to pull back from Iraq cities, turning security over to Iraqi forces. But militants in Iraq are doing their best to interrupt that schedule. Officials say a huge blast in a crowded Baghdad market killed at least 64 people yesterday. And the death toll this week has topped 160. Our Michael Ware is back in Baghdad. He is live with us this morning. Michael, the militants certainly trying to put an exclamation point on this idea of U.S. troops pulling out of the cities.
MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, John, it's actually a continuation of a long-running campaign, certainly the levels of violence here in Baghdad are not what they were a year or indeed two horrific years ago, if we all remember the rivers of blood that were flowing during the sectarian civil war.
The point of this campaign, this bombing campaign, primarily targeting the Shia population of Iraq is to reignite that civil war and indeed, we saw the most spectacular incident of recent days was, as you highlighted, last night. A motor bike pulling a vegetable cart ladened with explosives, detonated at an open-air market in the Shia suburb, Shia neighborhood of Sadr City at 7:00 p.m. the peak shopping period, killing 64, wounding about 150 -- many of them women and children who were out shopping.
Now, this continues today unfortunately. We have another six people killed in the last 18 hours or so, including a couple of incidents where a bomb was detonated at a market and a bus station earlier this morning, which killed - let's see, killed two people and then we had another bomb in the same bus station about half an hour ago, which has killed more people.
So, what we're looking at over the past six days, John -- six days -- is about 190 Iraqi civilians have been slaughtered. All as we're about to see the countdown to the official end of the American-led war in Iraq come to its conclusion on Tuesday. John.
ROBERTS: Just five days away now. Michael Ware for us back in Baghdad this morning. Michael, thanks so much for that report.
46 minutes now after the hour.