Friday, February 13, 2009

32 dead and 65 wounded in Iskandiriya bombing

In today's New York Times (deep within), Sam Dagher offers "Violence Across Iraq Kills 13, Including a Sunni Politician" which covers some of yesterday's violence including the assassination of Abdul-Karim al-Sharabi of the Sunni political party the National Dialogue Front. And? That was not the only assassination yesterday -- there was another one attempted yesterday and one late Wednesday. From yesterday's snapshot:

This as Xinhua reports, "Two Iraqi politicans were shot dead and a third was injured by gunmen in the volatile city of Mosul." Abdul Kareem al-Sharabi (National Dialogue Front -- Sunni) was shot dead today, Ahmed Fathi (Iraqi Islamic Party -- Sunni) was shot dead "late on Wednesday" and Akram Khalaf of the National Movement for Reform and Development was left injured in a shooting today. As the violence mounts, some continue to wrongly cite those 'wonderful' elections and all the 'peace' they demonstrate.

Have some problem with Xinhua as a source? Here's Hussein Kadhim (McClatchy Newspapers):

- Gunmen killed the deputy manager of the national dialogue council, Abdul Karim al-Sharabi in the 17th of July neighborhood in Mosul around 1:15 p.m.
[. . .]
-Gunmen opened fire on Akram Khalaf, a candidate of the national movement for reform and development in Sarij Khana in Mosul in the afternoon. He was injured and transformed to hospital for treatment.

"Oh. Well, no one else reported Wednesday's assassination except for Xinhua!" Reuters yesterday:

MOSUL - Gunmen killed Abdul-Kareem al-Sherabi, a senior member of the Sunni Arab secularist party National Dialogue Front, in a drive-by shooting in Mosul, police said.

MOSUL - Gunmen killed Ahmed al-Jubouri, a senior member in the Sunni Arab Iraqi Islamic Party, as he left a mosque in Mosul on Wednesday, police said.

Oh, look, paragraph 11 of Dagher's article: "This week, an official in Mosul with the Iraqi Islamic Party, which also took part in the elections, was killed as he left a mosque." So yesterday's two attempted assassinations are reduced to only one in the article and the day before's assassination is played off in a single sentence paragraph as "this week" and the victim so unimportant, apparently, the it isn't necessary to provide his name or for that matter note him a headline. Three attempts in 48 hours, two successful, all in Mosul. And the paper's not interested in what clearly is a pattern or in conveying that to readers?

Dagher's on more solid ground when attempting to provide recent regional context, "Despite multiple security operations by American and Iraqi forces, Mosul remains one of the most violent spots in the country. Four American soldiers and an Iraqi interpreter were killed in the city on Monday when a suicide car bomber attacked their convoy." Here's another example of context: "It is the third day of attacks on Shia pilgrims, with dozens killed in Baghdad and Mosul." That's the BBC from this morning as an Iskandiriya bombing (supposedly a "female sucide bomber") has resulted in 30 deaths and twenty-five wounded. Al Jazeera (and AFP) says the death toll is 32 and the wounded number sixty-five so far. Saad Sarhan and Ernesto Londono (Washington Post) provide this context, "The bombing, which occurred shortly before noon, was the deadliest in Iraq this year. . . . Millions of Shiite pilgrims make a yearly pilgrimage to Karbala for the end of a 40-day period of mourning commemorating the death of Hussain bin Ali, one of the most revered figures in Shiite Islam." Monte Morin (Los Angeles Times) describes the sights along the pilgrimage, "For days, roads leading to the city have been jammed with people making the pilgrimage. Highways leading to Karbala are lined with colorful tents that offer free food and drink to passing pilgrims and blast religious music from speakers. The gathering spots, which often separate males and females, make easy targets for attackers."

And AP offers this perspective:

On Thursday, a suicide bomber detonated an explosive belt packed with nails among Shiite worshippers in Karbala near the revered Imam Hussein shrine, killing eight pilgrims and wounding more than 50.
A day earlier, at least 12 people were killed and more than 40 wounded in bombings in Baghdad that targeted Shiite pilgrims traveling to Karbala, 50 miles to the south.

Those who read Dagher's article will see his number of wounded on Thursday is much lower than AP's -- AP's number is the number of reported wounded. Maybe Dagher filed early?

Martha notes Reza Fiyouzat's "Iranian Revolution's Thirtieth Anniversary" (Dissident Voice):

The Islamic Republic's crimes against the people continued when it started its campaign of terror against all opposition in all spheres, imprisoning thousands based purely on political affiliations; torturing people with impunity, executing hundreds after phony ‘trials’, in which no right of attorney was ever considered. Those imprisoned and executed included people who did not even directly oppose the new religious state. The Tudeh Pary, for example, the most rightwing of the leftist parties, stayed loyal to the new state and even collaborated with its security forces, identifying other leftists. But, even they, after their services were no longer needed, came under the blade.
The persecuted thoughts were not limited to the realm of politics. Members of the Bahai faith, a minority sect of Islam created in the 19th century in Iran, were likewise pursued.
Other crimes of the regime includes the constant and systematic attack on women's rights and freedoms, including the suspension of their right to initiate divorce or have child custody, the suspension of their right to travel (regardless of their father, husband or some other male relative having given them permission), halving of the worth of women's court testimony, halving of damages permitted in a law suit, halving of a woman's inheritance, and the barbaric introduction of stoning to death in cases of adultery.
The Islamic Republic’s crimes against our people includes also a most ghastly case of an en-masse execution of hundreds of political prisoners in the summer of 1988, and the mass burial of the bodies in Khavaran grave site, in south Tehran. Ever since the summer of 1988, the families of political prisoners who were summarily killed extra-judicially have been demanding to be given exact details of the executions and places of burial of their loved ones. To no avail.

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oh boy it never ends