Saturday, August 07, 2010

At least 20 dead, over a hundred wounded in Basra

It was just Monday that Barry Obama was happy talking violence in Iraq -- two days after the US military was attacking official Iraqi ministry figures on the July death toll. How long ago it now seems. Basra's been rocked by bombings today. That would be Basra in the south. The south. Where US military brass have told reporters for three weeks now that there are no problems. Any violence remaining, the brass has insisted, is in the north. But, fact, Basra is in the south.

Mohammed Al Dulaimy (McClatchy Newspapers) reports
, "Three explosions took place in a busy street in Basra city today killing 16 and injuring 110 civilians. Iraqi police gave different accounts on the cause of the explosions. Basra police chief said the explosions and the fire that started in the area were not a terrorist act but a fire in a big generator led to the explosions of its fuel tank. Other police sources and eye witnesses said the explosions were caused by roadside bombs." Sameer N. Yacoub (AP) reports the death toll has risen to 20 (and he notes some police officials say the death toll is at 43 and that there is conflict over the roadside bombings or the generator explanation). Aref Mohammed (Reuters) goes with "explosion of a power generator, possibly triggered by a bomb," notes morgue officials state 25 people are dead and quotes Hussein Talib stating, "There were three explosions in this very crowded area. There were women and children and poor vendors. As a lawmaker from Basra I hold the military and police leadership responsible for the blood that has been shed." BBC News adds, "Two police officials who spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity blamed the explosions not on a generator, but a roadside bomb and a car bomb" while Mu Xuequan (Xinhua) reports, "The first blast was caused by a car bomb in the market, then a generator and it's tank were also blew up, said the source, adding the blast reason of the generator and it's tank was not immediately known."

That's far from the only violence today and one theme emerging appears to be targeting police officers. Anthony Shadid (New York Times) reports that Baghdad saw a battle between police and unnamed assailants which lasted "from midnight until the early morning. Four policemen and an insurgent were killed." Mohammed Tawfeeq and CNN add, "The incident happened Friday night after police got a tip about militants using a home to store weapons. Suspects fired on police as they arrived at the home, triggering an hour-long shootout. The suspects fled from the scene. Police found grenades, machine guns and pistols equipped with silencers in the home." In addition, Mohammed Al Dulaimy (McClatchy Newspapers) reports a Falluja sticky bombing wounded one police officer, Sahwa members Jassim Mohammed's Falluja home was bombed killing 1 child and wounding four family members, a police officer's Garma home was bombed claiming the life of his wife and wounding seven family members, a police officer's Falluja home was bombed claiming the lives of 2 family members and wounding five more, a Falluja police checkpoint was attacked resulted in the death of 1 police officer and four more wounded, a Mosul suicide bomber attempted to kill police Lt Col Khalid Jarallah but took out one other police officer (dead) and injured Jarallah and four other police officers.

Mohammed Al Dulaimy (McClatchy Newspapers) reports reports a Friday Ramadi roadside bombing claimed 1 life and left three people wounded. Reuters notes two Mahmudiya roadside bombings today injured two civilians, a Mosul funeral was attacked wounding "an off-duty prison warden . . . and two others," a Mosul roadside bombing claimed the life of a 5-year-old child, 1 traffic police officer shot dead in Baghdad and, dropping back to Friday, 1 woman shot dead in Kirkuk.

This is the 'peace' Barack claimed credit for Monday.

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