Wednesday, August 15, 2007

500 Iraqis may be dead because of a blood feud

Virtually everyone is pointing fingers after the recent suicide bombings that has killed at least 250 people in northern Iraq. Americans blame al Qaida (in Iraq). Shiite leaders blame the Sunni insurgency, and Kurds put the blame on the battle for northern oil fields. But according to McClatchy it may be the latest shot in a religious vendetta.

U.S. officials blamed al Qaida in Iraq, a Sunni Muslim extremist group that has targeted American troops, Iraqi government forces and Shiite Muslim civilians. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki, a Shiite, blamed Sunni extremists. Kurdish officials said the blast was part of the jockeying between Kurds and Arabs for control of northern Iraq, though Nineveh province lies outside the Kurdish autonomous region.

Many, however, said the blast appeared to be the latest spasm in a blood feud that erupted earlier this year when members of Iraq's non-Muslim Yazidi ethnic minority stoned to death a teenage girl they accused of dating a Sunni Arab man and converting to Islam.

The brutal death of Doaa Khalil Aswad, 17, in April was captured on video by cell phone. Stomach-turning images of her writhing as she was beaten and pelted with stones by hundreds of young Yazidi men spread across the Internet.

Two weeks later, 23 Yazidi men were taken from a bus and executed.

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