Good news thanks to good intel:
U.S. forces have freed 41 Iraqi citizens who were kidnapped, held by al Qaeda in Iraq for as long as four months and possibly tortured, a U.S. military spokesman said Sunday.
U.S. forces received a tip on where the hostages were held, said Lt. Col. Christopher Garver.
“There was some evidence of torture,” he said.
Garver said he believed the kidnappings were part of al Qaeda’s “fear and intimidation” campaign against Iraqi civilians.
“They will take members of a community, and hold them, trying to get the community to act in ways they want with the threat of killing these hostages,” Garver said.
“We don’t see much from al Qaeda in terms of actual monetary gain coming out of kidnappings, but we do see them trying to use kidnappings to hold whole communities hostage.”
Their stay with al Qaeda was probably not pleasant:
U.S. military spokesman Maj. Gen. William Caldwell said last week that one of those freed was a 13-year-old boy, who “literally had been tortured, electrocuted, whipped, beat by these al Qaeda terrorists.”
He said freed people told troops that one or two captives had died during the torture sessions, and the remaining captives expected to be ransomed off to their families, with the money going to support the al Qaeda insurgency.
Dying at the hands of some moron with an al-Qaeda torture picture book in his hands has to be one of the worst ways to go.
How do you send your kids to school when you’re under almost constant rocket attack? The rockets don’t have guidance systems so the schools can’t easily be targeted but the Palestinians would love nothing more than a Qassam rocket landing on a school packed full of children:
The Sderot Municipality has asked the Education Ministry for approval to terminate the current school year immediately, and resume classes in August should the security situation allow it.
Sderot children will return to school Sunday for the first time since the recent fighting broke out, although classes will be held outside the embattled town in areas that are not within the Qassam rocket’s range.
The students will be brought to Kibbutz Ruhama in armored buses, from which they will be bussed to schools in nearby towns.
Another Israeli civilian was killed by the rockets today.