Mizher Abed Hanoush, a Shurta resident, said the attack took place near a Shiite house of worship, or husseiniya, now occupied by the Iraqi Army.
Mr. Hanoush said the husseiniya previously had served as the local base of the Mahdi Army militia of Moktada al-Sadr, the anti-American Shiite cleric. It was taken over by the army in the aftermath of battles this year between Iraqi and American forces and the militia in Baghdad and the south.
Mr. Hanoush echoed concerns voiced by many Iraqis in recent weeks about the fragility of the security situation in Baghdad. "The situation is turning to the worse again, I do not know why," he said.
AP notes that the death toll from yesterday's bombings have climbed to at least 35.
Meanwhile, AFP quotes Nouri al-Maliki on the state of the Iraqi military -- or rather, quotes his office quoting al-Maliki -- declaring, "We see that our forces have a high level of capability and this makes us feel proud and honored, but we want the performance to be complete so that they don't need (external) support." The puppet's also in the news for the lack of protections for Iraq's religious minorities in the provincial elections legislation that Parliament voted on last week. Sunday, Iraqi Christians took to the streets in hundreds to protest. "Iraq PM seeks safeguards for Christians" (Reuters) notes that al-Maliki says things need to be added and that the Parliament points out there was no census so they had no hard numbers to work with. al-Maliki's making a show of saying the Parliament needs to fix it when the reality is that bill barely passed last week and a similar bill in July led to walk outs. The article notes:
Iraq's Christian communities, as well as smaller minority sects such as Yazidis in northern Iraq, have tried to stay out of the fray during years of sectarian fighting. But churches have been attacked and two Yazidi villages were struck by truck bombs a year ago in the deadliest strike of the war.
Cardinal Emmanuel III Delly, leader of Iraq's Chaldean Catholics, called for the presidency council to intervene.
"I call on the presidency council not to approve the cancellation of article 50 of the provincial law, which is an oppression against our presence and representation in Iraqi society," he said in a television interview on Saturday.
Shamiram Daniali offers "Iraqi Parliament Betrayed the Persecuted Assyrian Christians" (Assyria Times):
Just when we thought things cannot possibly go any worse for the most persecuted population of Iraq, its indigenous people who are Assyrian Christians, we witnessed the biggest injustice yet by the Iraqi Parliament.
On September 24, 2008, the Iraqi Parliament eliminated article 50 of the Provincial Election Law, which had adopted on July 22, 2008. That article guaranteed the quotas (specific number of seats) in the governorate's regional councils for the minorities, including the Assyrian Christians. The Governorate Council Elections will be held on January 31, 2009.
The bill is now passed to be reviewed and approved by the Iraqi Presidium committee, President Jalal Talabani and his two Vice Presidents. Elimination of the article 50 means that Assyrians, as the indigenous people of Iraq, and other minorities will permanently lose their rights to have representation in the Regional Councils in the 14 regions. For the time being, three regions in northern Iraq (Kirkuk, Arbil and Soleymaniya) will not be holding regional elections.
This gross stump on democracy by the very parliamentarians, who are sworn to bring democracy to Iraq, has caused turmoil among the Assyrians of Iraq. Many of them protested against this bill by holding demonstrations against this post war dictatorship.
Daniali concludes the column with the belief that the bill will be rejected by the presidency council.
Sabina notes something from Team Nader that we'll include in both of this morning's entries:
Breaking News: Third Party Debate
Trevor Lyman is the man who organized the Ron Paul money bombs.
One Lyman money bomb raised $4 million in one day.
Another raised $6 million in one day.
Now, Lyman is at it again.
Lyman wants to hold a third party debate in New York City.
Lyman was inspired by Ron Paul's press conference a couple of weeks ago.
At that press conference, Paul called on his followers to ditch the two major parties and throw their support to one of the independent or third party candidates.
So, we all need to support Lyman's push for an alternative debate now.
If Lyman gets 10,000 pledges by October 8, he and the other sponsors will organize a debate in New York City.
All major candidates -- Nader, Barr, McKinney, Baldwin, Obama and McCain will be invited.
Already, with no publicity, Lyman has close to 1,000 pledgers.
So go to thirdpartyticket.com now.
And add your name to the pledge list.
You don't have to say how much you are pledging.
Just add your name.
The Commission on Presidential Debates won't let Ralph debate.
Let's crank it up.
Onward to November
The Nader TeamPS:
And Kayla notes this from Team Nader:
Your Soapbox -- Announcing Freedom Writers
Were you disgusted by the sound bite debate you had to endure last night? Did you wish there was someone on stage who was actually addressing substantive issues instead of trading resumes and platitudes? Outraged by the fact that third parties are deliberately and systematically excluded from public discourse and that millions of Americans consequently don't know that they can vote for real reform?
If you are, sign up to join Freedom Writers, the Nader campaign to end media bigotry by demanding that radio, television and newspaper stations cover third party candidates. We need you to help us break through the media blockade and bring real issues and solutions to the people!
Join Freedom Writers today.
The Nader Team
The e-mail address for this site is email@example.com.
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