Iraqi Insurgents Attack Religious Festival

January 29, 2007

Mortars rained down on a shi'ite neighborhood in Baghdad. The insurgent attack killed several people, mostly women and children.

This triggered outrage among shi'ites who are celebrating their
holiest day of the year.

Today's attacks follow a fierce firefight in the city of Najaf between U.S. backed Iraqi troops and insurgents.

Officials estimate, some 200 militants were killed in an effort to foil a plot to kill shi'ites taking part in a religious festival.

The war of words over the war in Iraq is heating up here at home. This week, the Senate is slated to start debate on a non-binding resolution opposing the troop surge that's already underway.

Right now it looks like that measure doesn't have enough Republican
support to pass and top GOP Senators want to keep it that way.

"This effort to quiet Baghdad is absolutely essential. If you don't have a relatively calm capital city, there's no chance the government can function properly" said minority leader Senator Mitch McConnell.

Some lawmakers, like Presidential candidate Senator Hillary Clinton,
urge the U.S. should be making plans to get out of Iraq not increase the
U.S. presence there.

"I oppose this escalation. I think we should do everything possible to bring the Iraq war to the right end as soon as we can, and bring our troops home" said Senator Clinton.

It's a call that's growing louder with the onslaught of violence. More U.S.
soliders were killed when their helicopter went down during the fighting
in Najaf bringing the death toll among U.S. forces to nearly 31-hundred.

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