Sunday, July 16, 2006

NYT: "Gunmen Kidnap 30 at Olympic Committee Meeting" (Kirk Semple)

Inside, the Olympic Committee president, Ahmed al-Hijiya, a Sunni, was presiding at a meeting that included committee members and the directors of the country’s sports federations, General Sagher said.
The assailants bound the hands of the security guards posted outside the hall and then, by the sheer force of their numbers, overwhelmed the people inside, including bodyguards, the general said.
Several gunshots were fired -- their origin was unclear -- and at least two people, including the Olympic Committee’s spokesman, Emad Nasser, were wounded, General Sagher said.
Everyone was ordered to lie on the ground, according to General Sagher, and one of the assailants, who was wearing civilian clothes, walked through the hall indicating who should be taken.
The exact number of victims remained unclear. According to General Sagher, the assailants took Mr. Hijiya and at least eight other members of the Olympic Committee and their bodyguards. But Mr. Daoud, the Olympic Committee official, said the kidnappers took 30 bodyguards and only three sports officials -- Mr. Hijiya; Amer Jabbar, the committee's secretary general; and Jamal Abdul-Kareem, the head of Iraq’s tae kwon do federation.

The above is Kirk Semple attempting to flesh out Saturday's kidnapping in "Gunmen Kidnap 30 at Olympic Committee Meeting" (New York Times). (Attempting not intended as an insult. Just that the numbers are still in question.) Since he filed his story, all the wire stories (and the BBC) are reporting that one official was released/left as well as five bodyguards. (I believe the BBC was reporting four bodyguards, but they've probably updated that.)

That's Saturday. Events in Iraq so far today:

The AP reports that a trash bag bomb killed at least four and wounded at least 21 in Baghdad today. Reuters notes the death of four in al-Rasool (with at least ten wounded) from mortar rounds. A British soldier has died and another wounded in actions in Basra, according to the BBC. The AFP brings the news that two US troops died on Saturday.
Reuters informs that three people were shot dead near Tikrit; a father & son and a woman were killed in Muqdadiya; while, near Kirkuk, two truck drivers were killed and a third kidnapped. Corpses? Two today in Balad ("signs of torture"); three female corpses discovered in Mosul, the corpse of a police officer discovered in Diwaniya (he was kidnapped Saturday along with three other police officers); while four corpses were found on Saturday (Reuters).

Isaiah's pulling his The World Today Just Nuts because an event made him think the humor wasn't right for today. He's drawing a new one and it will go up before "And the war drags on . . ." this evening. (I think it's fine but I understand why a current event has given him pause. He may allow that to run in a few days or he may pull it permanently, his choice.)

New content at The Third Estate Sunday Review:

A Note to Our Readers
Editorial: House of Cards Collapses
TV: 4 Days in 7th Hell
Redistricting right up to the election?
It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Boring)
The rush to grab that linked article!
All He Is Saying Is Act Like M15 Doesn't Exist
William Lash III
Tour de Drip
The long and winding edition

Note: When Ava and I did our Law & Order: Trial by Jury review, everyone got that it was humor. But Ty's already read one e-mail about this week's TV commentary, so to be clear, that's humor. If you feel short changed over this entry, you have been. Had Dexy returned to the paper, I'd rouse myself to find something to say but I'm exhausted (from the edition), Semple's the only one covering Iraq today (and, for the Times, does a pretty good job). So that's it for this entry.

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