Wednesday, January 04, 2012

8 reported dead and 15 wounded overnight and today

In Iraq today, AGI reports a 6-year-old girl is dead from a series of Baquba bombings which left eight more people dead. AFP notes there were five bombs which went off "at short intervals." While AGI and AFP report the girl was a 6-year-old, Jomana Karadsheh (CNN) reports the girl was nine. Reuters ups the wounded count to twelve (also states the girl was 6-years-old) and notes a Samarra grenade attack has killed 1 police officer (three more injured) and, dropping back to last night, notes 1 police officer shot dead in Baghdad and 2 Iraqi soldiers shot dead in Mosul. AP reports two children were killed in the Baquba bombings. In addition, AP notes that an Abu Ghraib home invasion resulted in 2 deaths (husband and wife).

Staying with the topic of Iraqi children, Iraq War veteran Jonathan Webb (Seattle Times) served in Iraq with the US military and later as a contractor:

One day as I flew over Baghdad, I looked down to see children rummaging through the city dump. The sightings of children in the streets scurrying down alleyways and scavenging through garbage became more and more common. I came to learn that these were not just kids out being mischievous. These were orphans and other extremely vulnerable children, and for many of them the streets are their home.
It is estimated there are nearly 2.5 million Iraqi orphans as a result of sectarian violence, terrorist attacks and executions under Saddam Hussein's brutal regime. Orphans represent nearly 10 percent of Iraq's population of just over 30 million. To put this into perspective, this would be the equivalent of 30 million orphans in the U.S., which would be unfathomable.

Webb is vice president of Sponsor Iraqi Children Foundation.

The political crisis continues. The editorial board of the Toledo Blade notes, "Iraq will get fighter jets, tanks, and a wide range of other weapons. With the final withdrawal of U.S. forces last month, Iraq is on the verge of armed conflict between its majority Shiites and minority Sunnis. Its armed forces are little more than pickup squads of Shiite militias, ready to go after Sunnis and possibly each other." And the UN News Center notes:

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today expressed concern about continuing political tensions in Iraq, urging all parties in the Middle East country "to work to resolve their differences peacefully through meaningful dialogue and compromise."
In a statement issued by his spokesperson, the Secretary-General said the ongoing issues could contribute to insecurity in the country, which has been hit by a series of recent bomb attacks.
"It is essential that pending political issues are resolved in a way that respects the constitution and its provisions for the separation of powers, the rule of law and an independent judiciary," the statement noted.

As Sheikh (Dar Addustour) reports that the national conference President Jalal Talabani has been advocating for seems unlikely according to the latest indicators. Meanwhile yesterday there were reports about Iraqiya continuing their boycott of Parliament; however, Dar Addustour reports that the Kurdish Alliance walked out yesterday in portest of State of Law's Hussein al-Assadi's assertion that Talabani (president of Iraq and a Kurd) is a "terrorist." Kurdish MP Mohsen Saadoun called for a formal apology as Parliament convened and what followed was a loud disagreement with the Kurdish Alliance then walking out. Parliament stopped the session until the Kurds returned at which point they resumed the reading of nine bills. In addition, Aswat al-Iraq notes:

A meeting between leaders of Iraq' main political parties ended on Wednesday, without any result, following al-Iraqiya Bloc's demand to discuss the case of Iraq's Vice-President, Tareq al-Hashimy, wanted for charges related to terrorism, according to a source close to the meeting.
"The meeting that began at 10:00 AM local time has ended without any result, due to al-Iraqiya Bloc's demand to discuss the case of Vice-President, Tareq al-Hashimy, within the schedule of the meeting," the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

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