Tal Afar Toll Tops Record For Iraq War's Deadliest Attack - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

04/02/07 - Baghdad, Iraq

Tal Afar Toll Tops Record For Iraq War's Deadliest Attack

Community leaders listen to the governor of Ninevah province, Duraid Kashmula (center), with Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno (seated) at a meeting in Tal Afar on Sunday. Community leaders listen to the governor of Ninevah province, Duraid Kashmula (center), with Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno (seated) at a meeting in Tal Afar on Sunday.

Last week's suicide truck bombing in the northern city of Tal Afar is the deadliest single attack since the beginning of the Iraq war in 2003, a high-ranking Iraqi Interior Ministry official said Monday as a new death toll for the blast surfaced.

The Wednesday attack -- in which a truck packed with 4,000 pounds (1,814 kilograms) of explosives detonated in a Shiite area of the city -- was initially blamed for 85 deaths, according to an Iraqi army officer in Tal Afar who estimated the death toll Thursday. Hundreds of others were wounded.

But the Interior Ministry official said Monday that the death toll was 152, making it the war's deadliest single attack.

In a separate and apparently retaliatory attack, gunmen stormed homes in a Sunni area of the city, killing 70 people and wounding 30, according to the army officer. Forty others were kidnapped.

Before last week's attack, police said a November 23 string of car bombs in Sadr City, a Shiite slum of Baghdad, was the war's deadliest single attack.

At least 138 people were killed and more than 200 were wounded when six car bombs detonated there, Health Minister Ali Shammari said in November.

'Chemical' Ali case coming to close

In closing arguments Monday, Iraq's chief prosecutor, Monkith Alfaroon, requested the death penalty for Ali Hassan al-Majid, who is accused of gassing thousands of Kurds in the 1980s.

Alfaroon also requested the death penalty for four of al-Majid's five co-defendants. It was not clear if Alfaroon requested the death penalty for the fifth defendant.

Alfaroon asked for the most severe penalty for al-Majid, Sultan Hashem Ahmed, Saber Abdel Aziz, Hussein Rashid and Farhan Jubouri "because they committed awful crimes and they never had mercy for a woman or a child."

"Even the environment suffered from their tyranny and injustice," Alfaroon said, according to court proceedings on Iraqi state TV.

Al-Majid, aka "Chemical" Ali, is the cousin of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein and a former senior member of the regime. He faces genocide charges for his role in a military campaign called Operation Anfal.

He was governor of the region at the time and is accused of ordering the killings of as many as 100,000 Kurds in 1987 and 1988, as the Iran-Iraq war was nearing its end.

The Anfal trial began August 21 and included genocide charges against Hussein. The Iraqi leader, however, was executed December 30 after being found guilty in the 1982 killing of 148 people in the Shiite town of Dujail.

The Anfal trial resumed a week after Hussein's hanging. The remaining six co-defendants, including al-Majid, face charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Truck bomb strikes police station

A bomb hidden under bags of flour in a parked truck exploded Monday outside a police station in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk, killing seven people and wounding 178 others, police said.

Children at a nearby primary school were among the wounded, a Kirkuk police official said. Police and civilians also were hurt.

Earlier Monday, a bomb inside a parked car exploded in southeastern Baghdad, killing three people and wounding 10 others, a police official said.

Story courtesy of CNN Newsource.

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