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How should we forecast Middle East tensions this year?

*Financial Times, by Mariam Karouny, January 5, 2006

“Two suicide bombers killed at least 110 people and wounded more than 200 in the Iraqi cities of Kerbala and Ramadi on Thursday, the second consecutive day of concerted insurgent attacks.

Another three bombs exploded in Baghdad, two of them detonated by suicide bombers, and a roadside bomb targeted a U.S convoy near the southern Shi’ite holy city of Najaf, destroying a Humvee and killing at least two civilians.

Coming a day after 58 people died in a wave of bombings and shootings, the latest bloodshed appeared certain to ratchet up tension between Sunni and Shi’ite Muslims after December’s election.

Kerbala is one of Shi’ite Islam’s holiest cities while Ramadi is a Sunni Arab stronghold and a hotbed of insurgency.

The bombs shattered hope that Iraq might start 2006 on a more peaceful footing.”

*This information is solely a highlight of the opinion of a third-party publication and is incomplete.  Please subscribe to this publication for the full and timely opinion of the author and call a Monex Account Representative for any additional up-to-date information. This is not an offer to buy or sell precious metals. Investors should obtain advice based on their own individual circumstances and understand the risk before making any investment decision.