As many as 21 people have been killed following the bombing of an Iraqi army recruitment centre in west Baghdad.
According to Iraqi police sources on Sunday, a bomber with explosives strapped to his body blew himself up at the Muthana airport recruitment centre which had already been targeted on previous occasions.
One police source said 21 were killed and 31 wounded, though a doctor at a nearby hospital said it was treating 34 wounded and had received many dead.
[. . .]
Eight members of the same Iraqi family, including a two-year-old, were shot to death in their sleep early on Sunday, police said.
The father suspected it was a sectarian crime.
The above is from Al Jazeera's "Many die in Iraq army centre blast."
Skip e-mails "Many dead in Iraq suicide blast" (Australia's ABC):
More than 20 people have been killed in a suicide bomb attack at an army recruitment centre in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.
About 40 more people are reported to have been injured.
A group calling itself Al Qaeda in Iraq has posted a statement on a website claiming responsibility for the attack.
But the statement has not been verified.
Also from Australia's ABC (and also e-mailed in by Skip) is "Attacks kill dozens across Iraq:"
Sunday's deadliest attack, claimed in an Internet statement by the Al Qaeda-linked group of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, killed 19 and wounded 41 as a suicide bomber blew himself up outside an army recruitment centre at Baghdad's Muthana airfield.
"At 9:00 am we were all together waiting to enter the camp. Some people were outside, others were going in. The guards were checking everyone. Then we heard a huge explosion," said Saad Mejid, 19, one of the would-be recruits speaking from Yarmuk hospital.
"We saw body parts flying through the air. There was smoke everywhere. I was hurt in the leg. I couldn't believe what happened. My clothes were covered in blood," he said.
He was still looking for his brother who had gone with him to join Iraq's newly-formed army.
??? e-mails to note 30 dead in "Iraq bombings, U.S. soldier killed" (The Australian Herald):
Three separate bombs in Iraq claimed the lives of 30 Iraqis Saturday, while a U.S. soldier was killed and another three were wounded.
[. . .]
Another car bomb hit a police convoy in Mosul shortly after killing four and injuring 3.
Meantime a U.S. 29th Brigade Combat Team soldier was killed and three were wounded Friday when an improvised explosive device detonated near their vehicle near Balad, Multinational Force Iraq reported.
From England's The Guardian, we'll note Gary Younge's "Blair's blowback Of course those who backed the Iraq war refute any link with the London bombs - they are in the deepest denial"
(which Micah e-mailed):
Shortly after September 11 2001, when the slightest mention of a link between US foreign policy and the terrorist attacks brought accusations of heartless heresy, the then US national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice got to work. Between public displays of grief and solemnity she managed to round up the senior staff of the National Security Council and ask them to think seriously about "how do you capitalise on these opportunities" to fundamentally change American doctrine and the shape of the world. In an interview with the New Yorker six months later, she said the US no longer had a problem defining its post-cold war role. "I think September 11 was one of those great earthquakes that clarify and sharpen. Events are in much sharper relief."
For those interested in keeping the earth intact in its present shape so that we might one day live on it peacefully, the bombings of July 7 provide no such "opportunities". They do not "clarify" or "sharpen" but muddy and bloody already murky waters. As the identities of the missing emerge, we move from a statistical body count to the tragedy of human loss - brothers, mothers, lovers and daughters cruelly blown away as they headed to work. The space to mourn these losses must be respected. The demand that we abandon rational thought, contextual analysis and critical appraisal of why this happened and what we can do to limit the chances that it will happen again, should not. To explain is not to excuse; to criticise is not to capitulate.
Via Watching America, Trevor found Gianni Riotta's "U.S. Must Fess Up to CIA Kidnapping on Italian Soil: It is time for the White House to exhibit something more than 'arrogant or embarrassed silence,' and explain why the CIA violated the sovereignty of Italy, one of America's closest friends and allies" (Italy's Corriere Della Sera):
The victim was tailed on a Milan street, immobilized with a chemical spray, kidnapped, sent secretly to the U.S. air base at Aviano, and from there to the fastnesses of the Mubarak regime [Egypt], with no legal protections whatsoever. Now the Abu Omar case threatens to widen the split between the United States and Italy, following the regrettable aftermath of the Sgrena case and the death of Nicola Calipari.
Abu Omar's abduction took place on the territory of a friendly sovereign country and an ally of Washington that has courageously supported the postwar peace process in Iraq by sending troops to Nassiriya, thus exposing itself to Madrid-style terrorist reprisals.
[. . .]
What’s the point of Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice's forthright speech urging America's Egyptian and Saudi allies to at last open their societies to democracy, if the CIA then sends Abu Omar, illegally abducted in Italy, to Cairo, to be unceremoniously interrogated without lawyers, transparency, or legal process, all considered by Washington hardliners as superfluous luxuries in a time of war?
Trevor also found (from Watching America) this editorial, "To Mr. Bush, Iraq is Just a Battlefield," from Iraq's Azzman:
To reverse a disastrous slump in his approval ratings due to his Iraq policy, U.S. President George W. Bush told Americans last week that if U.S. troops were not fighting the terrorists on foreign soil they would be fighting them on American soil. Bush and his advisers must have been alarmed as approval ratings for their Iraq policy drop from 77% just two years ago to 48% today.
As he is in the midst of a war for which no one can say with certainty his troops will win, the president has a right to go to the American people now to muster their support. But the U.S. must understand that winning Iraqi hearts and minds is crucial for victory, and it is regrettable that Mr. Bush’s speech did nothing to boost Iraqi backing for his troops’ presence on their soil.
Iraqis are clever and very far sighted. The last thing they want to hear is the American leader say that their country has been chosen merely as an arena for fighting anti-U.S. terrorists, rather that fighting them somewhere else.
From the BBC, we'll note "Egypt to cut Iraq mission staff:"
Egypt is to reduce its diplomatic presence in Iraq following the abduction and killing of its ambassador there, the foreign minister says.
"We're taking this step basically to protect mission staff," Ahmed Aboul Gheit told journalists in Cairo.
Ambassador Ihab al-Sherif was kidnapped six days ago. The group headed by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, al-Qaeda's leader in Iraq, has said it is behind the attack.
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