Monday, October 02, 2006

26 Iraqis kidnapped, Darrell Anderson returns to the US . . .

On Sunday evening in Al Amel, a neighborhood in western Baghdad that is largely Sunni Arab, 26 workers were taken from a store that sells sandwiches and meat pastries, Iraqi officials said. Mass kidnappings began occurring with some frequency in the spring.
Continuing another grim trend, the Iraqi police said they discovered 50 bodies in and around Baghdad in the 24 hours ending Sunday night.
The United States military said Sunday that two American soldiers were killed by small-arms fire on Saturday in Anbar Province.
In a preliminary report compiled by the Health Ministry, deaths of Iraqi civilians appeared to have risen in September, Reuters reported. The figure, 1,089, was substantially lower than the monthly average of more than 3,000 in a United Nations report last month but was up by almost half from the same set of Health Ministry figures in August.

The above is from Sabrina Tavernise's "Shiite Politicians Grow More Critical of Iraq’s Government" in this morning's New York Times. From the Associated Press' "Decorated Army Deserter Returns to U.S.:"

A decorated soldier who deserted from the U.S. Army to avoid a second tour of duty in Iraq has crossed back into the United States after fleeing to Canada almost two years ago.
Army Spc. Darrell Anderson, 24, of Lexington, crossed the U.S. border and plans to turn himself in at Fort Knox on Tuesday.

If you're just catching up on the weekend news, the above items help you catch up. It's Monday and there doesn't appear to be a lot of things worth highlighting. For those wondering how much press attention Darrell Anderson received, Reuters filed a story late on Saturday, Jim Warren (Lexington Herald-Leader) filed one early Sunday morning and now the AP has one. That appears to be it.

The other thing you may have missed was that Saturday in Baghdad began and ended with the entire city under house arrest -- no foot traffic or car traffic allowed. The reason given early on was a potential threat of multiple bombings in the Green Zone but with each story of the weekend, the US military appeared to back off -- bit by bit -- from that original claim. 50 bodies were found in Baghdad after the "curfew" (as it was nicely termed) was lifted which questions how effective any 'security' measure is these days. This has all already been covered here and you can scroll down and read more. There's not a great deal of coverage of Iraq today and the strongest writing on it doesn't come from the mainstream media. We'll note that in "Other Items" next.

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