Monday, June 06, 2011

Tikrit bombed again, at least 11 dead

Deng Shasha (Xinhua) reports that at least 11 Iraqi security forces are dead and nineteen people are injured as a result of a suicide car bombing in Tikrit and "The attack took place in the morning when a suicide bomber drove his explosive-laden car into the checkpoint at the entrance of the presidential compound of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussien, and blew it up, the source said." BBC News adds, "There was reported to be widespread damage to buildings in the complex, which has been likened to a local version of Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone of government and administrative buildings." Tim Craig and Aziz Alwan (Washington Post) report, "In Tikrit, Iraqi security officials say the palace bombing occurred as the Iraqi army, under orders from Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s national government, was attempting to take over responsibility for protecting the palace following Friday’s explosion." Yes, Friday, Tikrit was also slammed with bombings:

Mohammed Tawfeeq (CNN) reports, "Seventeen people were killed and 50 others wounded in a blast from a container full of explosives left outside of the Presidential Palaces Mosque in central Tikrit, Iraq, officials told CNN. That was followed in the evening by another explosion when a suicide bomber wearing an explosives vest enetered a Tikrit hospital treating the wounded, Iraq interior ministry officials told CNN. Six people died and 10 were wounded at the hospital in the second attack." On the mosque bombing, BBC News notes, "Some reports suggest the bomb was hidden inside a fuel canister at the entrance to the mosque." AP explains, "The mosque was inside a government-controlled compound where many officials live, and most in attendance were security or government employees." Muhanned Saif Aldin and Tim Craig (Washington Post) quote MP Jamal Algilani stating of the government out of Baghdad, "The procedures that they are following don't meet the size of the responsibility that they are in charge of." Michael S. Schmidt (New York Times) quotes provincial council member Hussein al-Shatub stating, "I don't know how they were able to put these explosives in such a secure area. I was at the main gate of mosque on my way to pray when the explosion occurred. I started evacuating injured people to the hospital. It was a huge explosion." Al Jazeera adds, "Al Jazeera's Omar al-Saleh, reporting from Baghdad, quoting government sources, said, 'Significantly, the compound houses the governor, police command and several other security directorates'." Laith Hammoudi (McClatchy Newspapers) offers one government response to the bombings, "Friday's explosions came less than 24 hours after four explosions hit another predominantly Sunni Muslim city, Ramadi, on Thursday night, killing five and injuring 27. Residents of Tikrit said that authorities had imposed a curfew until further notice."

As noted in the previous entry, AP has reported this morning that 5 US soldiers have died in Iraq today. There are no details given by the US military or AP. Mohammed Tawfeeq (CNN) reports on the 5 deaths and notes that "two Iraqi security officials told CNN Monday that the servicemembers were killed during an early morning mortar attack at a U.S. military base in southeastern Baghdad. Five servicemembers also were wounded in the attack, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release the information."

Meanwhile AP covers the Saturday send-off in St. George, Utah for 474 members of the state's National Guard who are deploying to Iraq. Tim Young and Tim Lester (Sydney Morning Herald -- link has text and video) report on the unemployed in Iraq zooming in on the translators who once worked for Australian military forces.

Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts' "The Plan For Day 101" went up last night. Today on Law and Disorder Radio (begins broadcasting at 9:00 am EST on WBAI and around the country throughout the week), Michael Ratner, Heidi Boghosian and Michael S. Smith explore torture in Chicago with attorney Flint Taylor, and, with Professor Ruth Wilson Gilmore, they explore the Supreme Court's order that California must release their prison population by about two-thirds.

We'll close with this from Sherwood Ross' "NO 'SHRED OF EVIDENCE' IRAN BUILDING NUKES, EX-HEAD OF IAEA SAYS" (OpEdNews):

The former Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency(IAEA) said in a new published report that he had not seen “a shred of evidence” that Iran was “building nuclear-weapons facilities and using enriched materials.”
Mohamed ElBaradei, the Nobel Peace Prize recipient who spent 12 years at the IAEA, told investigative journalist Seymour Hersh, “I don't believe Iran is a clear and present danger. All I see is the hype about the threat posed by Iran.”
El Baradei, who is now a candidate for the presidency of Egypt, added, “The core issue is mutual lack of trust. I believe there will be no solution until the day that the United States and Iran sit down together to discuss the issues and put pressure on each other to find a solution.”
El Baradei's remarks are contained in an article by Hersh titled “Iran And The Bomb,” published in the June 6th issue of The New Yorker magazine.
Hersh points out that the last two U.S. National Intelligence Estimates (N.I.E.s) on Iranian nuclear progress “have stated that there is no conclusive evidence that Iran has made any effort to build the bomb since 2003.”
An N.I.E. Report supposedly represents the best judgment of the senior offices from all the major American intelligence agencies.
The latest report, which came out this year and remains highly classified, is said by Hersh to reinforce the conclusion of the last N.I.E. Report of 2007, that “Iran halted weaponization in 2003.”

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