Monday, June 08, 2009

At least 7 dead in Baghdad bombings, 24 injured

A bombing gets Baghdad into this morning's new cycle. Aseel Kami (Reuters) reports a Baghdad minibus bombing has claimed 7 lives and left 24 injured. BBC pins down the location in Baghdad, "Abu Dshir, a Shia Muslim enclave in the mainly Sunni neighbourhood of Dora." AFP notes it here.

Meanwhile Alsumaria is reporting whispers of what would be a significant change in governing in the Kurdistan Regional Government and have implications throughout Iraq: Barham Saleh, the current deputy prime minister, will reportedly resign his post to take over as Prime Minister of the KRG.

In today's New York Times, Alissa J. Rubin and Marc Santora cover the arrest of US contractors in Baghdad, suspected in the murder of Houston, Texas' Jim Kitterman who was stabbed to death in the Green Zone. The reporters note, "Under Iraqi law, charges are not made until a court appearance. For a person to be detained there must be sufficient evidence for a judge to issue an arrest warrant." Alsumaria adds, "Cabinet spokesman Ali Al Dabbagh told the AFP that five US security contractors were arrested on Friday in a joint Iraqi-US crackdown in the green zone as part of investigations in the murder of an American. Al Dabbagh noted that Americans are investigating detainees who if convicted will be transferred to Iraq judiciary for trial." But Qassim Abdul-Zahra (AP) reports the same spokesperson, Ali al-Dabbagh, is now insisting 4 Americans, not 5, were arrested.

On the New York Times, an e-mail came in to the public account noting I had missed a report in Sunday's paper. I didn't miss it. I was being kind. I didn't care for it on Saturday when the US military wrote it. In the arts section today, Campbell Roberts files from Baghdad with "In Iraq, Colbert Does His Shtick for the Troops" and we'll note this from it:

There was a general feeling among soldiers there, the board member said, that Americans had largely tuned the war out, that the economy had vacuumed up all the attention even though there are around 135,000 troops still here and still doing dangerous work.
"There's a thesis statement there, which is something for my character to hang on to," he said. "My character thinks the war is over because he doesn't hear about it anymore. He's like a child. A ball rolls behind the couch and he thinks it's gone forever."
Soldiers here are all too aware of America's attention span about this war, several of them at the taping said.

Colbert's character isn't the only one behaving that way.

Last week the KRG issued the following:

Prime Minister Barzani welcomes extension of PKK ceasefire

In response to a question addressed to Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani from regarding the extension of the PKK ceasefire, the Prime Minister welcomed this step and stated that he was pleased by the PKK’s decision to extend the ceasefire.

"We believe extending the ceasefire serves as an important step towards peace and stability in the area. At the same time, it is in the interest of all that we continue to work towards a solution in a peaceful way, especially after the recent positive steps taken by Turkey."

Prime Minister Barzani added, "We welcome the PKK’s recognition that there is no military solution to this problem. We hope that the circle of discussion regarding this issue will be expanded in Turkey so that a peaceful, political solution can be identified."

Turkish warplanes bombed terror organization PKK hideouts in northern Iraq, military sources said Sunday. (UPDATED)

Hurriyet reports that Turkey sent four to six airplanes to bomb northern Iraq Saturday in assaults on the PKK.

Bonnie reminds that Kat's "Kat's Korner: Ben Harper" went up Sunday as did Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Lowering the Brand."

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