I think it was 4 months ago when I spent three nights in Sammara because it is the closest place to Tikrit which didn’t make your skin crawl and it actually had hotels. It was an empty hotel and me and the manager enede up chatting because we both had nothing better to do, I told him that I thought the city there was very quiet and it seemed very peacful, just a bunch of Iranian tourists visitng the shrine of Imam Sadiq al-Mahdi. he told me that I shouldn’t be fooled, lots of the Tikritis and Saddam supporters came down to Sammara to hide.
and last night this happened
Someone talking on arabic BBC said that probably a couple of Iranian tourists were injured but that was not confirmed. Killing 64 means there was a serious battle going on or they just scorched a street after freaking out.
UPDATE: AP just put up a different number
and this one is more interesting to read than the NY Times one.