In what is turning out to be a very bloody month at least 16 Iraqi soldiers were killed and some 50 were wounded when a suicide bomber detonated inside an Iraqi military base in western Iraq on Thursday. The bombing comes on the heels of a series of explosions that have killed dozens in Baghdad and a bombing in the oil rich province of Kirkuk on Wednesday that killed at least ten. Iraqi security officials said a young man in his teens walked into a crowded cafeteria where Iraqi soldiers were eating lunch inside the military base in the town of Habbaniyah, east of Ramadi, in the mostly Sunni Anbar province. The explosion ripped through the lunch crowd at about 1 p.m. on Thursday.
Iraqi police said that after the explosion the Iraqi commander at the base ordered the arrest of all the soldiers at the gate because they were supposed to search people who entered the base. Just after the explosion U.S. and Iraqi forces shut down all roads leading to the base and through the area. The violence is one in a disturbing trend of increasing violence as the U.S. begins pulling out of Iraqi cities. All U.S. soldiers are to be out of Iraqi cities by the end of June and outside of Iraq by the end of 2011. President Barack Obama said all combat troops will be out of Iraq by the end of August, save a reserve force of about 50,000 troops. As violence moves upwards, the U.S. has already shifted focus to Afghanistan.