Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Other Items

The BBC notes this today: "A suicide bomber has killed 14 people in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul. Reports say the attacker boarded a bus and then detonated a device." In this morning's New York Times, Solomon Moore's "Iraqi Pilgrims Endure Another Attack" offers a pretty in-depth look at some of Monday's reported violence and we'll note the pilgrims:

Another attack on Shiite pilgrims marching to the holy city of Karbala killed at least four people on Monday, just a day after a suicide bombing left 52 dead.
In the latest attack, two car bombs exploded in the Karada district of southeast Baghdad, killing four people and wounding at least nine, according to Iraqi and American officials.
The blasts were the third attack on Shiite pilgrims observing Arbaeen, which commemorates the end of the 40-day mourning period for the death of Imam Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad and one of Shiite Islam’s most revered holy men.
At least 57 pilgrims have been killed during two days of attacks and more than 100 have been wounded.

John Affleck (AP) also reports on the pilgrims:

Processions of black-clad men flagellating themselves with chains to express grief at the martyrdom of a revered Shiite Muslim figure marched Tuesday through the city of Karbala, as a national pilgrimage marred by deadly attacks neared its conclusion.
Shiites from all over Iraq have walked to Karbala, 50 miles south of Baghdad for Arbaeen. The commemoration marks the end the mourning period following the anniversary of the death of Imam Hussein, who was slain in a seventh century battle and is buried in Karbala.
Iraqi and U.S. authorities have said at least 8 million pilgrims are expected to swell the streets of the city by the time the time ceremonies reach their peak on Wednesday and Thursday. With heavy security in the city, extremists have struck in recent days at more-exposed pilgrims on their way to Karbala. At least 63 pilgrims have been killed.

And the BBC reports:

The government has been told to release the minutes of two cabinet meetings in the days before the 2003 Iraq war.
The demand came from Information Commissioner Richard Thomas after a Freedom of Information request was rejected by the Cabinet Office.

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