The attackers parked the car in the market during one of its busiest days, detonating it by remote control, said Maj. Gen. Fadhil Raddad, the commander of the Babil provincial police force. Most of the victims were civilians.
"This was a cold-blooded crime against poor, simple people who were here to make a living," said Kassim Abdullah, 40, a butcher who was injured.
Alissa J. Rubin notes the death toll was 15 in "Oil Revenues Dropping, Iraq’s Parliament Cuts the Budget" (New York Times). As the title indicates, the bulk of Rubin's article is about the tiny modification Iraq made to its national budget after months and months of whining about the falling price of oil per barrel:
The government will absorb cuts of a little more than 7 percent, about $4.2 billion, which brings Iraq's 2009 budget down to $58.6 billion, according to the legislation that Parliament approved Thursday. Members of Parliament will take a 10 percent cut in their own salaries, bringing each member's salary to about $7,600 per month. But each Parliament member would continue to have a budget of about $12,800 per month for bodyguards.
In many respects Iraq, with its economy still largely directed by the central government, remains in better shape than some Western countries dominated by private firms forced to fire people or shut down completely because of the worldwide downturn.
As Mike noted last night, they cut the budget by a lower percentage than the percentage he kicks into the offering plate when attending Church.
By the way, on the New York Times, I'm going completely by online today. This morning's entries are dictated and we're already at the airport where I did snag the last copy of the New York Times and was yet again reminded of how 'cutbacks' apparently means getting rid of people who ensure quality. Translation, three pages of the paper are blank -- completely blank -- the international section -- and the bulk of section A with ink on the pages is printed with a split in the middle of each page that does not line up with the other side.
On the Hilla bombing, AP quotes eye witness Hussein Abdul-Kadir stating, "We had just started to have our breakfast in a tea shop inside the livestock market when we saw huge flames rising, and people started to run. We saw several bodies and carcasses, some burned and on the ground."
Meanwhile AP's Hamid Ahmed reports puppet of the occupation Nouri al-Maliki latest makeover in advance of upcoming elections (expected in December) is to ask for a great, big group hug and for the past to be left in the past and bygones to be bygones. He is quoted stating, "We have to reconcile between each others as Iraqis." As Iraqis. Good, I was worried he was going to say, "We have to reconcile between each others as cabbage." Khalid al-Ansary and Missy Ryan (Reuters) quote him stating, "We will reconcile with them, but on the condition they come back to us and turn the page on that dark part of Iraq's history ... What happened, happened." No word on whether or not "man" followed "What happened, happened" or whether Nouri flicked an imaginary ponytail.
Meanwhile UPI quotes the Chaldean Church in Mosul's Samir Elias stating "thousands" of Christians are returning. That may or may not be true but the claim would carry more weight had it not been made on a US propaganda oulet ("Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty" which is a branch of Voice of America).
In the US, AP reports that The Army National Guard Readiness Center in Kiln, Mississippi will hold a ceremony Saturday at 1:30 p.m. where the building is dedicated to Robert C. Oneto-Sikorski who died serving in Iraq in October of 2005 leaving "behind two sons and a daughter." The oldest son, named Robert, is known for swimming to rescue his brother during Hurricane Katrina.
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