51 Killed in Iraq Bombings

In the wake of the United States' June 30 pullout from Iraq, the violence goes on. The Washington Post reports that two truck bombings in northern Iraq and an attack against day laborers in western Baghdad killed at least 51 people, wounded at least 81, and destroyed at least 80 houses Monday. The truck bombings took place in the northern Shiite village of Khanza, while two explosions in Baghdad targeted day laborers waiting for work in mixed, predominantly Shiite neighborhoods. As The Post put it, "The attacks underscored the Sunni insurgency's continued ability to inflict mass casualties as the country's Shiite-led government tries to demonstrate it can handle security with minimal assistance from the U.S. military." Continued violence in the run-up to January's election may hurt incumbent Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's chance at a second term, since he's billed himself as the statesman who pulled Iraq back from civil war.