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A few months later Tall Afar would reappear in American news:
TALL AFAR, Iraq, April 5 -- A huge bomb exploded near a bus filled with Iraqi soldiers returning from leave Tuesday, killing at least three and wounding at least 44 in an attack that showed how even a payroll issue in Iraq can turn deadly.Although most mentions of Tall Afar would be found deep in stories of more spectacular al Qaeda atrocities.
The bus, carrying nearly 50 soldiers, was surrounded by several trucks mounted with guns to fend off an attack by insurgents. But as the bus neared a checkpoint in the late afternoon on the west side of Tall Afar, a violent city of about 250,000 near the Syrian border, the bomb exploded close to its left side.
Shortly after the attack on the Iraqis, another roadside bomb exploded in Tall Afar near a convoy of Stryker attack vehicles carrying soldiers from the U.S. Army's 2nd Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment (Stryker Brigade Combat Team). Two soldiers were wounded, an officer from the unit said.
Car Bomb Kills Nine At Shiite MosqueOther stories made headlines:
Worshipers gathered the remains of children from pools of blood on the tile floor of a Shiite Muslim mosque Friday after a bombing killed at least nine people...
Meanwhile, a video apparently filmed by insurgents and posted on Web sites Friday showed the last moments in the life of a man injured in the downing of a helicopter Thursday before insurgents shot him dead.
Bombings and other attacks have surged in number, lethality and boldness this month, although the country has yet to see a return of the kind of attacks that each killed scores of people before the elections.
The bombing on Friday was one of many targeting the Shiite majority, which has become politically dominant since President Saddam Hussein and the Sunni Muslims he favored were routed in March 2003.
Elsewhere, a roadside bomb killed a U.S. soldier near the northern city of Tall Afar, the military said.
Bomb Attacks Persist In Iraq
Six explosions shake the nation, including one at a funeral that kills at least 25. A video is released showing an Australian hostage.
A suicide bomber on Sunday plowed his vehicle into a tent packed with mourners at a Kurdish funeral in the northern city of Tall Afar, killing at least 25 people and wounding 30 others as insurgents continued their campaign of violence.
The car bombing in Tall Afar struck a large tent where the funeral was being held for Taleb Wahab, an official with the Kurdish Democratic Party who had been killed by insurgents Thursday, said a Kurdish official quoted by Reuters news agency. The vehicle exploded at about 8 p.m.
Tall Afar, west of Mosul near the border with Syria, has seesawed between U.S. and insurgent control for months. American troops laid siege to the city last fall, claiming it was a key way station for militants crossing from Syria.
Which brings us back to May, 2005, the point where we began our discussion of Tall Afar:
In the deadliest of Monday's attacks, two bombings killed 30 people in the volatile northern town of Tall Afar, hospital officials said.And...
The first bomb exploded late Monday outside the home of a Shiite tribal leader, according to an emergency room director who identified himself only as Haidar and a hospital director who said his name was Saleh. A second bomb exploded as crowds gathered to help the wounded from the first blast, the medical officials said. The second bomb claimed most of the victims.
Two back-to-back bombings Monday in the northern city of Tall Afar unleashed vigilante violence and retaliatory killings. Witness and police accounts said at least 14 people had been killed in retaliatory attacks Tuesday after Monday's bombings killed 30....prompting Muqtada Sadr to declare the problem exaggerated, and offer a pledge to send "help":
An Associated Press special correspondent reported seeing civilians with assault rifles manning checkpoints in Shiite neighborhoods of the city on Tuesday, and residents and authorities spoke of Sunni checkpoints elsewhere in the city.
"Shiites' armed men are walking around looking for Sunnis to kill," police Col. Salih Jameel Sultan said.
However, Moqtada Sadr, a radical Shiite cleric based in the southern city of Najaf, said the fighting in Tall Afar involved two tribes and that news media were exaggerating its sectarian nature. Sadr said he would send aides to the city.A few weeks later:
Sadr told reporters that he expected "positive results in coming days" from a peace pledge his aides were circulating among prominent Shiites and Sunnis.
Insurgent Attacks Kill 36 People In IraqAnd a few weeks after that, members of one of those "two tribes" were exposed:
Capt. Amjad Hashim of the Tall Afar police said security in that city had deteriorated in the last two months. "Insurgents are trying to create sectarian clashes between Sunnis and Shiites living here and are targeting both sides," he said.
Turkey Seeks To Extradite 2 Detained In IraqA few weeks after that, this August, 2005 story...
The Abu Ghraib inmates are accused of participating in deadly 2003 attacks in Istanbul.
By Associated Press
ANKARA, Turkey — The government of Turkey has asked Iraq to extradite two suspected Turkish Islamic militants held in Abu Ghraib prison so it can try them in connection with the 2003 Istanbul suicide bombings that killed more than 60 people, the Foreign Ministry said Wednesday.
Turkey's Justice Ministry asked Iraqi authorities in June to extradite suspects Sadettin Akdas and Burhan Kus, and Iraqi authorities were evaluating documents about the suspects, the Foreign Ministry statement said.
Media reports Wednesday said the two had been captured this year during fighting near the northern Iraqi town of Tall Afar.
Kus, 32, has been indicted by Turkish prosecutors on suspicion that he helped build the Istanbul truck bombs. Akdas, 22, is accused of being a member of the terrorist cell that helped carry out the attacks.
The blasts in November 2003 targeted two synagogues and, five days later, the British Consulate and a London-based bank. Most of the victims were identified as Turkish Muslims.
One U.S. soldier was killed and another was injured when an Army helicopter made a forced landing under fire Monday in northern Iraq, the U.S. military said...included an absurd explanation:
The attack happened in the city of Tall Afar, 240 miles northwest of Baghdad, the military said. No further details were released.
Residents of Tall Afar, reached by telephone from Mosul, said the helicopter went down about 6:30 p.m. in the southwestern part of the city.
U.S. troops fought insurgents last year in the largely Turkmen city and managed to restore enough control to hand it back to Iraqi authorities. However, the Iraqis lost control, in part because of the city's volatile ethnic mix.And that completed a year of failure in Tall Afar.
But something different was on the horizon...