Saturday, June 20, 2009

The US military announces another death, at least 70 Iraqis dead in Kirkuk

Today the US military announced: "CAMP STRYKER, BAGHDAD -- A Multi-National Corps -- Iraq Soldier died as the result of a non-combat related incident June 19. The name of the deceased is being withheld pending notification of next of kin and release by the Department of Defense. The names of service members are announced through the U.S. Department of Defense official Web site at The announcements are made on the Web site no earlier than 24 hours after notification of the service member's primary next of kin. The incident is under investigation." The announcement brings to 4315 the number of US service members killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war.

Meanwhile a bombing in Iraq has resulted in mass deaths. Khalid al-Ansary, Mustafa Mahmoud, Waleed Ibrahim, Muhanad Mohammed, Michael Christie, Daniel Wallis and Matthew Jones (Retuers) report on the Kirkuk bombing dubbed "the deadliest in more than a year" and Hussain Nashaat declares, "I was sitting in my house when suddenly a powerful blast shook the ground under me. I found myself covered in blood and ran outside in a daze. My lovely neighbourhood was just rubble." (The reporters also sneak in this: "Almost all U.S. soldiers will leave urban centres by June 30 under a bilateral security pact signed last year and the entire force that invaded the country in 2003 must be gone by 2012." Got to love that "almost." The Status Of Forces Agreement did not allow for "almost" -- outside of horse shoes, it's difficult to think of anything where "almost" counts.) Ali Al Winadawi and Ned Parker (Los Angeles Times) count 70 dead and one-hundred-and-eighty-two injured:

Witnesses said the explosion leveled more than 80 clay brick homes and partially destroyed the mosque. Rescuers dug through mounds of rubble looking for the wounded and pulling out the dead.
Medical officials said at least 70 people had been killed and another 182 wounded in the bombing. They worried that the casualty figures would rise in the latest in a series of attacks on northern Iraq's Turkmen minority since 2003.

The Telegraph of London notes that shortly before the Kirkuk bombing, Nouri al-Maliki was raving about the "great victory" (US troops leaving some Iraqi cities). Nada Bakri (Washington Post) quotes eye witness Qanbar Abdullah Sajjad stating, "All I could see was a fireball flying into the air followed by a thick cloud of dust and smoke. Bodies, covered with mud, were laying on the ground. People were bleeding and shouting for help." Mohammed Tawfeeq (CNN) adds, "Hours after the blast, authorities were still digging through rubble searching for possible survivors and more bodies."

In other reported violence Sahar Issa (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a Baghdad sticky bombing which left two people wounded, 1 police officer shot dead in Mosul and his father left wounded, a Mosul roadside bombing which wounded two people, and, dropping back to Friday, a police officer stabbed to death in Kirkuk and a Falluja sticky bombing which wounded engineeer Sabah Absulsahab.

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