At least 60 bodies were found throughout Baghdad between 6 a.m. Tuesday and 6 a.m. Wednesday, the ministry official said. Forty victims were unknown; 20 were identified.
Nearly all were shot in the head, had clear signs of torture, or were blindfolded, bound or gagged, and most were discovered in neighborhoods of western Baghdad with heavy Sunni Arab populations, he said. The other deaths reported by the ministry were in bombings and other attacks on Wednesday.
American military officials, who have been more aggressive in challenging body counts if they consider them inaccurate, disputed the number found, saying the actual number was roughly half what the ministry had reported.
The above is from Richard A. Oppel Jr.'s "On Another Grim Day, Bodies Lie Everywhere in Baghdad" in this morning's New York Times. And? That's all I'm saying. Yesterday, I pitched an idea to Dona, Jim, Ty, Jess and Ava for Sunday's The Third Estate Sunday Review. We'll be doing that there and the thing that stands out about this article today is what we'd already agreed to address there. If the article had appeared before that, there'd be more to say here. Instead, its main weakness fits with an overall pattern so timing spares Oppel a critique.
Martha notes Amit R. Paley and K.I. Ibrahim's "Nearly 100 Killed In Baghdad Over 24 Brutal Hours: Scores of Corpses Dumped in Streets" (Washington Post):
Nearly 100 people were killed or found dead in the Iraqi capital over the past 24 hours, authorities said Wednesday, continuing a wave of sectarian violence that has defied American efforts to thwart the carnage.
[. . .]
As the violence flared, leaders of the country's main political parties met to seek agreement on a politically explosive plan to carve the country into a federation of three autonomous regions. The federalism plan would create a Shiite Muslim region in southern Iraq much like the autonomous zone in the north controlled by the Kurds. Sunni Arabs would be left with vast swaths of desert in the middle of the country, an area that lacks the oil reserves in the other regions.
Khalaf Olayan, leader of the Iraqi National Dialogue Front, a Sunni group, said the meeting "focused on the question of time limitations and how we could delay the matter for the time being."
"We believe that a majority of our people do not understand federalism and some believe that if approved, it would lead to the division of the country," he said. "Besides, people now need services first and want things that will help them in their daily lives."
The leaders of all the political blocs will meet again on Saturday to try to resolve the issue, he said.
If you haven't already, check out Gregg Zoroya's "Soldier describes anguish in revealing murder allegations" (USA Today). Marci is among the ones who already has checked out the story online and she wondered about the photos mentioned last night? I didn't look at the online piece. What it offers is the two photos from the front page. In the print edition, on 5A (inside), they offer a better photo of Justin Watt (credited to him), a map, an AP photo of Abeer's home ("charred and bloodstained walls of the girl's house"), the photo of Abeer from the official government document and the AP photo of her two surviving brothers.
Anyone (any member) who missed yesterday's copy, can e-mail and note that you'd like a scan of A5 and we'll e-mail it out to you. I didn't see the story until Kat and I got back from speaking yesterday and were walking through the airport.
On today's violence, USA Today carries an AP story online:
Car bombs and drive-by shootings killed at least 10 people and wounded dozens of others Thursday in a series of attacks around central Iraq, officials said.
The attacks followed a day that was bloody even by Baghdad's standards, with car bombs, mortars and other attacks killing at least 39 people and wounded dozens. Police also uncovered the tortured bodies of 65 men dumped in and around the capital.
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