Saturday, May 26, 2012

181 killed in Iraqi violence so far this month

Olga Sobolevskaya (The Voice of Russia) reports, "On the 24th of May, the families and friends of the four bikers organised a piquet near the Iraqi Embassy in Moscow with the participation of hundreds of bikers. They passed an appeal with 350 signatures to the Iraqi Ambassador."  She's reporting on Oleg Kapkayev of Saint Petersburg, Alexander Vardanyants  and Maxim Ignatyev of Vladimir and Oleg Maximov of Tula who were arrested by Nouri's forces and tortured in custody  The four are expected to be back in Russia tomorrow.  The world found out what was taking place on Thursday.  Well . . most of the world.  US outlets ignored the story.  Friday, the four were released.  When three Americans or were held in Iran, the US expected the whole world to pay attention.  But there was nothing but silence on the issue of the Russian bikers. (UPI provided a brief report on Friday.) 

If you followed the story via the Russian press, you got a detail that AFP (French wire service) and UPI didn't bother to include. Two examples.  First, RT reported:

The bikers from Moscow, St. Petersburg and Tula were heading towards Baghdad when they were first blocked by a US convoy.
The tourists attempted to bypass the convoy by heading north of the capital through the city of Kirkuk.

RT is Russia Today.  Second, Ekaterina Saviba (Gazeta) reported:

They came to Iraq on May 17 and were detained by the Iraqi military on May 20. "Our attempt to go towards Baghdad failed because of Yanks in Hummers – they didn't let us in. Our guys decided to go round the American checkpoints and pass north of them," report motorcyclists' friends on the Russian motorcycling forum "They managed to ride several dozen kilometers a day, while having long heartfelt conversations with local authorities, all while the outside temperature was 42 Celsius."

In Iraq, violence continues today.  Zee News reports that Badoush ("20 kilometres northwest of Mosul") saw a roadside bombing which claimed the lives of 3 Iraqi soldiers.  AFP adds that 1 worker was killed and five injured in Diyala Province's Abu Saidah in an armed attack while, in the same town, a roadside bombing claimed the life of 1 Iraqi soldier and 2 Jalawla roadside bombings left two people injured.  Mu Xuequan (Xinhua) notes, "Near Baghdad, gunfire broke out in the town of Tarmiyah, some 30 km north of Baghdad, when gunmen attacked the car of the leader of a local government-backed Awakening Council group, an Interior Ministry source anonymously told Xinhua."  Through yesterday, Iraq Body Count notes 181 violent deaths in Iraq so far this month.

The following community sites -- plus PRI's The World -- updated today:

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