Thursday, April 21, 2005

Madain and its implication

BBC News reports on the Madain incident. Reader who are not following the incident, here is the recap. Last week, Iraqi official claimed that Sunni insurgents took over Madain, a town south of Baghdad and took many Shiite hostages. This week the Iraqi Security force entered in force and found no hostages or insurgents. Interestingly, Al-Zarqawi Group publicly denied that they had not taken any hostages in Madain. It seem that the whole incident was a hoax. Sunni partisans, claimed that it was created by the Shiite dominated government as a pretext to persecute Sunni. Tariq Al-Hashimi, the general secretary said: "Whatever the reasons - so far mostly they seem fabricated and exaggerated -we completely reject the latest escalation in the from of the seige of the town with a view to raiding it." (Al-Jazeera) He warned of a "new Fallujah." Sheik Abd Al-Salam Al-Kubaisi of the Association of Muslim Scholar (AMS) weighted in and said the report was completely untrue.

Later this week, 60 remains were found in the Tigris river, south of Madain, and President Talabani claimed that the incident was no hoax and the victims are the hostages from Madain. However the identities of the victims are not fully identified and no one know for sure if they are victims of Badain kidnapping.

However I find the accusation of the Association of Muslim Scholar and the Iraqi Islamic Party rather weak. Iraqi Shiite do not need this incident as an excuse to exact revenge. There were enough confirmed bombing of Shiite mosques to stir up vengence. But so far the Shiites have been rather restrained. The fact that Zarqawi himself bothered to deny the incident is in itself significant. Zarqawi in the past had no problem admit to the killing of innocent Shiites. He is afterall considered Shiites to be apostates and deserved killing. Why bother to explain his action over some heretics. My take is that the political environment in Iraq has changed and Zarqawi and his ilks came to realize that they are loosing the political battle in Iraq. It is one thing to behead Westerners. But it is now unacceptable to murder innocent Iraqi. Terrorist sympathizers such as the Iraqi Islamic Pary and the Association of Muslim Scholars must have realized it too.

UPDATE: According to a fellow Iraqi blogger, Baghdad Dweller, the atrocity did happen. She even has pitures to prove. The pictures are very good, they show the victims family displaying picture of their kidnapped loved ones. There are even pictures of fire fight.

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