An Iraqi police chief is dead today in Mosul, following violence in Iraq between US-backed Sunni militias (from the Sunni Awakening Council) and Sunni extremists. An explosion Wednesday and a subsequent suicide bombing means the toll from both incidents is thought to number 250 dead and injured. The police chief was inspecting the site of Wednesday's explosion when a man wearing an explosives vest under an Iraqi police uniform detonated, killing the chief and two officers.
Violence in the region has recently spiked, and US and Iraqi officials blame al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia for releasing an audio recording in December in which Osama bin Laden called the Sunni Awakening Council “traitors” and “infidels.” US military officials credit the Sunni Awakening Movement and larger Iraqi security forces, along with the surge in United States troops, for a declining civilian and military fatalities since July.
Check back here tomorrow for a full explanation of Sunnis, Shiites, and Kurds.