Sunday, March 14, 2004

This is a horrible weekend. We can't say for certain that Spain's government was overthrown due to Al Qaeda's bombing, but even if the Times is wrong it's hard not to be concerned that this is going to affect the actions of governments which are ambivalent about cooperating with us.

Following Attacks, Spain's Governing Party Is Beaten

Published: March 15, 2004

MADRID, March 14 ? Spain's opposition Socialists swept to an upset victory in general elections on Sunday, ousting the center-right party of Prime Minister Jos? Mar?a Aznar in a groundswell of voter anger and grief over his handling of terrorist bombings in Madrid last week.


Those bombings, the deadliest terror attack in Europe since World War II, turned on its head what had just a few days ago been a predictable victory by Mr. Aznar's Popular Party. Some voters apparently believed that Al Qaeda had plotted the attacks to punish Mr. Aznar for supporting the war, which Spaniards overwhelmingly opposed.

It seems hopes that Al Qaeda's attacks on non American targets were a sign of desperation were premature. It seems to have been a tactical pause while methods were reassesed.

G.I. Toll Is Rising as Insurgents Try Wilier Bombs and Tactics

Published: March 15, 2004

BAGHDAD, Iraq, March 14 ? Insurgent bombmakers, whose roadside explosives claimed the lives of six more American soldiers this weekend, have adopted new and grimly devious tactics, military officers said Sunday.

The tactics include setting multiple charges along convoy routes, disguising bombs inside animal carcasses and planting hollow artillery shells to draw troops into an ambush, they said.

One American soldier was killed early Sunday when his convoy west of Baghdad was blasted by a roadside explosive. Three soldiers died Saturday when their patrol in southeast Baghdad also fell victim to a homemade bomb.

Those deaths, announced by a military spokesman on Sunday, followed an attack on Saturday with an improvised explosive device and small-arms fire in Tikrit that left two soldiers dead.

Explaining the number of deaths this weekend from improvised explosive devices, military officers in Iraq said the lethality and effectiveness of those weapons had intensified.

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