Saturday, October 27, 2012

At least 40 dead as violence slams Iraq

"We heard an explosion, we rushed out, I saw children running, some with wounds and crying.  We evacuated some of the injured people. Mothers were running to the place to find their children," Abu Ahmed tells Reuters about a Baghdad roadside bombing at a market.  Today, Iraq was slammed with bombings and other violence leading the UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy to Iraq Martin Kobler to declare, "This is an atrocious act of violence against innocent worshipers of various faiths. The targeting of worshipers is an appalling crime."  AFP is counting "at least 40 people" dead throughout the country from violence and many more injured.

Deutsche Welle reports, "A /sticky bomb' underneath a bus carrying Iranian Shiite pilgrims was detonated on Saturday, killing at least five passengers and wounding at least 19, according to Iraqi officials. Medics also confirmed the death toll. The passengers were reportedly travelling to a Shiite shrine in Baghdad for the Muslim holiday Eid al-Adha."  It was part of what the UK Express describes as  "a string of bombings and other attacks primarily targeting the country's Shiite community on Saturday, leaving at least 40 dead in a challenge to government efforts to promote a sense of stability by preventing attacks during a major Muslim holiday."

The violence was all around the country.   BBC News notes, "Twin bomb attacks in Baghdad's mainly Shia neighbourhood of Sadr City on Saturday evening killed at least 13.  Hours earlier, a bomb near a playground in the Bawiya neighbourhood of the capital killed several people, including at least three children." Kitabat counts 23 dead and 32 injured in the two Sadr City car bombings.   Press TV notes Mosul attacks "a total of seven people were killed and 10 others sustained injuries in three attacks, security and medical officials said. Al Jazeera explains the target of the Mosul attacks were the Shabacks: "The Shabak community numbers about 30,000 people living in 35 villages in Nineveh, and many want to become part of the autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq."

In addition, All Iraq News notes bombings in southwest Baghdad which claimed the life of 1 police officer and left six more injured.  Mohammed Tawfeeq (CNN) goes into more detail on the southwest Baghdad bombings, "On Saturday evening, a roadside bomb exploded on a busy road in the al-Jihad neighborhood of western Baghdad, wounding four people. When police arrived to investigate and to evacuate the casualties, another roadside bomb detonated, killing one policeman and wounding two others, police said."   Alsumaria adds a Mosul home invasion killed a husband and wife and injured four of their children, 3 male suspects were arrested at a Mosul checkpoint (they were dressed as women), the Peshmerga stopped a bombing of the shrine of Imam Ali Ibn Musa Reza in Tess village,  1 car dealer was shot dead outside his Baquba home, a Tikrit car bombing injured eight people as it targeted a government building, and the home of the brother of a Turkman official was bombing in Tuz Khurmatu.

 Adam Schreck (AP) explains the holiday the violence has marred, "Eid al-Adha, or Feast of the Sacrifice, is a major Muslim holiday that commemorates what Muslims believe was the Prophet Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son Ismail, the Biblical Ishmael, as a test of his faith from God. Christians and Jews believe another of Abraham's sons, Isaac, was the one almost sacrificed.  The holiday, which began Friday, marks the end of the hajj pilgrimage to Mecca. Muslims worldwide typically slaughter lambs and other animals to commemorate the holiday, sharing some of the meat with the poor."

Again, two of the deadliest explosions were in Sadr City.  All Iraq News notes that Ali Mohsen al-Tamimi, MP with the Sadr bloc, states that the Office of the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces is responsible for today's bombing because there were warnings of vulnearable areas but nothing was done to provide protection.   If you're wondering, yes, that would be Nouri al-Maliki's office and that's a nicer way of calling Nouri out but it's still calling the prime minister out.

Another person with egg on their face is Barack Obama.  Kitabat has a report I haven't seen in English language outlets -- possibly because so many are so vested in the idea that Barack is beloved among Muslims and has turned the page for America.  The attack on the Benghazi Consulate and the protests at US embassies would beg to differ.  Kitabat reports that the imprisoned Sheikah Omar Abdel Rahman has issued a statement calling for the abduction of citizens of countries who are conducting a war on Muslims.  The US is seen by the Sheikh as one such country.   He calls Barack Obama a professional liar.  The 74-year-old man is known as "The Blind Sheikh" and is currently held at FMC Butner Medical Center (North Carolina) on a life sentence.  He has been in US custody since his arrest on June 24, 1993.

Today's violence follows a call for certain groups to depart Iraq.  Al-Shorfa reports that Sheikh Abdullah al-Saadi of the al-Muhajireen Mosque in Falluja stated in Friday prayers, "It is about time we raised our voices as clerics, secularists, rural and urban citizens, men, children and women and said in one voice 'Enough! Leave our country! We will no longer tolerate your presence! Stop your destruction! Go and do not return!"

If you sent something to the public account and it didn't get noticed, sorry.  Before Sunday night, I will probably note at least two things here from the public account.  But our focus is Iraq.  That means when Iraq doesn't get a lot of coverage in the media and it's a holiday in Iraq -- which means some in the Iraqi press do not publish -- I have to spend even more time looking for Iraqi stories.  So your issues have to fall to the side.  Sorry.  It was a very busy week in terms of hunting down Iraq coverage.

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