Befolkningen i den vestlige del av Anbar-provinsen i Irak har vendt seg mot Al Qaida. Det hardeste slaget mot foreldrene er å drepe barna: en bilbombe ble sendt mot gutter som spilte fotball: 12 ble drept og 20 såret.

Ledende lokale stammer fikk nok av Al Qaidas justis, og har tatt offentlig avstand fra jihadistene. Hundrevis av unge har meldt seg til politistyrkene. Det må straffes for å avskrekke andre fra å følge deres eksempel. Anbar er sunnienes kjerneområde. Skulle eksemplet smitte kan det få alvorlige følger for jihadistene.

A truck bomb killed up to 12 children playing football and six women in the insurgency stronghold of Ramadi, in an attack condemned by the Iraqi prime minister and local council leaders.

A further 20 boys were injured in the explosion, which happened mid-afternoon on Monday in Albu Alwan park, Iraqi state television said. Sheikh Hamid al-Hais, the deputy of a Sunni tribal council in the city that has turned on al-Qa’eda, said the vehicle, which was parked next to a pitch and loaded with logs, detonated as the boys were playing.

He claimed that 18 boys had been killed, the oldest of which was 15. «Dozens more are wounded,» Mr Hais said. «The bombers have no humanity.» Norui al-Malaki, the prime minister, said in a statement today that «the terrorist gangs… committed a crime targeted at children and their innocent enjoyment».

The bombing is one of series of deadly attacks in the city since a landmark decision by Sunni tribal leaders in the western Anbar province, of which Ramadi is the capital, to expel terrorist groups, including al-Qa’eda in Iraq. On Sunday more than 50 people were killed outside a mosque in a village near Ramadi where the imam had spoken out against al-Qa’eda.

For a long time after the US-led invasion in March 2003 much of the population of Anbar tolerated or actively supported insurgent groups fighting the Americans and the new Iraqi government. The unprecedented turning of the tribal shiekhs to seal a deal with American-led security forces has seen hundred of local Anbar men sign up for a police force controlled by a council chaired by Ramadi chieftan, Abu Risha al-Dulaimi.

Just days ago a newly recruited policeman claimed the new force was successfully tackling terrorism. «When we came here, the people were very pleased to see Iraqi Police here,» said Maj Obrahim Jassim, a clan leader and former member of the Iraqi army. «But they are scared to deal with us.»

At 50 muslimer blir drept utenfor sin egen moske, sier mye om religiøsiteten til jihadistene som sier de skal bygge et nytt kalifat i Irak.

Truck attack kills up to 12 boys in Iraq