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In video: Shiite group claims 2 attacks in Iraq

The group gave no dates for the attacks, but its statement said the attack on the Bradley took place in the Saidiyah district of Baghdad.

india Updated: May 13, 2006 02:23 IST

In a rare claim, an armed faction of Iraq's Shiite community has said it attacked a US military vehicle and a car carrying Western contractors, according to a video broadcast by

Al-Jazeera

on Friday.

The pan-Arab satellite channel broadcast footage of the video that showed a US Bradley armoured vehicle and two cars being hit by what appeared by roadside bombs in separate attacks. The video, and an accompanying statement about the Bradley attack, were issued by a group calling itself the People of Truth Factions.

The Qatari-based Al-Jazeera said the claim could not be authenticated.

The group gave no dates for the attacks, but its statement said the attack on the Bradley took place in the Saidiyah district of Baghdad.

The video showed a Bradley moving slowly along a road in an urban area. When the bomb explodes, the scene erupts in orange flames. "The target suffered an immediate hit, which caused it and the ammunition inside it to explode, killing all the occupation soldiers inside," the statement said.

No casualties were shown in the video of either attack. Al-Jazeera said the attack on the cars took place in Nasiriyah, about 320 kms (200 miles) southeast of Baghdad. The channel said one of the cars was carrying Western contractors. In the video, viewers see two cars speeding along a stretch of road in the desert. Several bombs seem to detonate at the same time, engulfing the whole scene in thick grey smoke.

The video bears the name People of Truth Factions. The group appeared to be Shiite because it said its military wing was called the Imam Moussa al-Kadhim Brigades, a reference to an 8th century Shiite leader. The group also referred to the "exalted immams," a standard Shiite phrase for early leaders of the Shiite community.

But the group's sectarian identity could not be independently confirmed. Shiites have sometimes accused Sunni insurgents of posing as Shiites to stir up sectarian differences.

Members of Iraq's Sunni community play the leading role in the insurgency against the US-led coalition and Iraqi government forces. But Shiites, who were oppressed under former President Saddam Hussein, have rarely attacked the government and its US allies, although the militia of radical Shiite cleric Muqtda al-Sadr used to fight the Americans.

Recently, Shiite politicians have criticized the US military, but many Shiites still say American soldiers should not leave Iraq until the government forces can ensure security.

First Published: May 13, 2006 02:23 IST