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Kill 'em while they're young
And they'll never grow up to resist your occupation.
A car bomb has killed 18 boys aged between 10 and 15 playing football in a park in the western city of Ramadi, according to an Iraqi defence official.
A further 20 boys were injured by the explosion in a vehicle parked near their game, he said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The attack came a day after a suicide car bomb blamed on al-Qa’eda killed 15 people in the same city, a hotbed of the anti-US insurgency which is also fast becoming a battlefront between rival Sunni factions.
For a long time after the US-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003 much of the mainly Sunni population of Anbar province tolerated or actively supported insurgent groups fighting the occupying army and the new Iraqi government.
Late last year, however, a coalition of powerful Sunni tribal sheikhs decided to change sides and actively fight al-Qa’eda and foreign-influenced movements, including by sending young men to join the police.
This decision appears now to have triggered a bloody response.