Shortly after I finished morning services, I began to hear a series of booms, felt my building shake, and later outside saw dark plumes of smoke rising from the city. Soon an assembly of important personnel was under way. I reported to our EMEDS to minister to any wounded that would come in. Sundays are often big days for insurgent activity as the suicide bombers prepare themselves over the Muslim holiday on Friday and Saturday then reaching out to stike on Sunday. It was an eye opening day to how serious this conflict is and how much difference it makes to the lives of so many people. Our medical folks were ready and able to handle all comers. So today, I ministered to wounded and their fellow soldiers here for the first time. It was a very touching and heartening experience to see the brotherhood, dedication, and courage of these soldiers. I found that my experiences as a hospital chaplain in a trauma center in Cincinnai provided valuable experience in addition to the training I've received as an Air Force chaplain to facilitate my provision of care for these folks.
This from Reuters describes the events of the day here.
By Sherko Raouf
KIRKUK, Iraq (Reuters) - Insurgents killed at least 23 people with a wave of vehicle bombs across Iraq's ethnically mixed city of Kirkuk on Sunday, one day after Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki urged Iraqis to embrace reconciliation.
At least 73 other people were wounded in the coordinated blasts caused by a huge suicide truck bomb and four car bombs which rocked oil-rich Kirkuk, a flashpoint city north of Baghdad disputed by Sunni Arabs, ethnic Kurds and Turkmen.
In the deadliest explosion, a suicide attacker driving a truck rigged with explosives blew himself up outside a police center and the offices of two top Kurdish parties, killing 17 people, mostly civilians, police said. The toll included 10 women and two children visiting relatives held by police.
Within an hour, a car bomb targeting a U.S. military patrol killed three civilians and wounded six other people. Minutes later, another suicide car bomber rammed into an Iraqi army checkpoint, wounding two soldiers. Two other car bombs struck the city.
The closed-off area where the truck bomb exploded also houses the headquarters of Iraq's President Jalal Talabani and Kurdish regional president Massoud Barzani.
Firefighters battled flames at collapsed buildings and charred corpses lay in streets littered with twisted car parts.
U.S. officials fear bloodshed may worsen with the holy month of Ramadan next week and have said car bombs could be a preferred tactic by al Qaeda and other Sunni insurgent groups.