A suicide bomber struck deep inside the heavily fortified International Zone on Thursday, killing eight people when he detonated his explosives inside the Parliament building, just a few feet from the main chamber.
In a separate and in some ways equally traumatic attack early in the day, a truck bomb destroyed the beloved 60-year-old Sarafiya bridge across the Tigris and killed six people. The heavily traveled bridge has long been a symbol of Baghdad, illustrated on old postcards and drawings from a more peaceful time.
The attack on Parliament was the worst in the International Zone since the area was established four years ago, when it was known as the Green Zone. At a time when Iraqis are increasingly questioning the government’s ability to protect them, the bombing raised the troubling possibility that it could not even fully protect itself, although the zone is at the wellspring of American and Iraqi military power in the city.
The above is from Alissa J. Rubin's "8 Iraqis Killed in Bomb Attack at Legislature" in this morning's New York Times. Micah wondered why the "International Zone" when everyone calls it the "Green Zone"? For starters, the Timid's never been able to think for itself when there's offical-ese to be pushed ("International Zone" certainly advances the lie that it wasn't and isn't a US dominated war and occupation). More amusing is how Rubin slips in that puppet of the occupation, Nouri al-Maliki, was "traveling" and in South Korea. Like it was just a spur of the moment road trip and as though he didn't have business to push and promote there (chiefly the selling of the privatization of Iraq's oil). Meanwhile, Reuters is reporting "prior intelligence" on the attack.
Martha notes Karin Brulliard and Robin Wright's "Blast Kills 8 at Iraqi Parliament Building
Lawmakers Dead In Suicide Attack; Bridge Destroyed" (Washington Post):
Three months after President Bush pledged more troops to stabilize Baghdad and two months after a new security plan was launched, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Thursday that the operation was still only "at the beginning" and would continue to involve "good days and bad days."
Appearing with Rice in Washington, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), a presidential hopeful who this week spoke of "the first glimmers" of progress in the new U.S. effort, said the attack on the parliament building does not change the "larger picture."
The bomb ripped through the parliament's crowded cafeteria at 2:30 p.m., filling the room with thick dust and unnerving parliament members who had just finished a lively, well-attended legislative session. The U.S. military said at least eight people were killed and 23 were wounded.
Among the dead was Sunni politician Mohammed Awad, parliament members said. Iraqi state television said a second legislator, whom it did not name, also was killed.
Crazy John McCain, bound and determined to be the last (War) Cheerleader standing, no matter how insane it makes him look.
DK notes Xinhua's "Iraqi parliament holds special session after attack:"
Members of the Iraqi parliament reconvened on a special session Friday to condemn a suicide bombing inside the parliament complex the day before in Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone, which killed eight and injured 23 others.
Speaker Mahmud al-Mashhadani addressed the gathering after the session began with a recitation of prayers from the Koran, state television showed.
"This session is a challenge against all the terrorists who want to stop the democracy process in Iraq. The ship of Iraq will keep moving to the secure land while the terrorism's ship will capsize," al-Mashhadani said.
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