Friday, October 05, 2012

Bombings across Iraq

Sameer N. Yacoub (AP) reports 2 Baghdad bombings which claimed 5 lives and left 25 people injured.  This was apparently targeting the worshippers of al-Sadrein mosque.  That's Baghdad where the bulk of the small number of foreign correspondents in Iraq are so it gets attention.  Prior to that bombing, violence was already taking place across Iraq.   All Iraq News reports 1 person was shot dead in Nineveh Province, to the west of Mosul while  a Mosul roadside bombing has left five police officers injured and 2 Zaafaraniya .bombings left four police officers and one bystander injured.

Still on violence, AP notes that the Islamic State of Iraq has posted a message claiming credit for the attack on the Tikrit prison last week that left many dead and injured and resulted in a large number of prison escapees who still remain at large.   From the September 27th snapshot:

The latest day's violence includes a prison attack BBC News reports assailants using bombs and guns attacked a Tikrit prison.  AFP quotes a police Lieutenant Colonel stating, "A suicide bomber targeted the gate of the prison with a car bomb and gunment then assaulted the prison, after which they killed guards" and a police Colonel stating, "The prisoners killed one policeman and wounded (prison director) Brigadier General Laith al-Sagmani, the gunmen took control of the prison, and clashes are continuing."  Kitabat states two car bombs were used to blow up the entrance to the prison and gain access and they also state 12 guards have been killed. Reports note the riot is continuing.  Alsumaria reports four guards have died, 1 police officer and the injured include two soldiers and the prison director al-Sagmani.  There's confusion as to whether a number of prisoners were able to escape in the early stages after the bombing and during gunfire.  Reuters goes with "dozens" escaping which is probably smarter than the hard number some are repeating. Mu Xuequan (Xinhua) reports 5 police officers killed and another two injured -- the numbers are going to vary until tomorrow, this is ongoing -- and state over 200 prisoners escaped with 33 of them already having been recaptured.  If you skip the English language media, what's not confusing is why it happened and why it was able to happen.   Alsumaria reports that there are approximately 900 inmates in the prison and that many have death sentences.  Alsumaria does even more than that.  It notes the recent prison violence throughout the country and ties it into the death sentences.

Today  All Iraq News notes another escapee has been arrested and estimates 102 escaped.   July 22nd, the Islamic State of Iraq released an audio recording announcing a new campaign of violence entitled Breaking The Walls which would include prison breaks and killing "judges and investigators and their guards."  (They also threatened to attack America on US soil.)  AP notes they also claimed responsiblity for Sunday's violence:

As the month of September winds down, Mohammed Tawfeeq (CNN) notes Iraq witnesses its second deadliest day of the month (September 9th was the deadliest day).   BBC (link is text and video) offers, "Civilians were among those killed and injured in the attacks around the capital, but the aim of the attackers seems to have been to kill as many security personnel as possible, wherever they could reach them, says the BBC's Rami Ruhayem in Baghdad."  Jamal Hashim (Xinhua) counts 34 dead and 85 injured while explaining, "In and near the Iraqi capital, eight car bomb explosions and gunfire attacks killed up to 25 people and wounded 59 others, according to the police reports." Kareem Raheem, Suadad al-Salhy and Sophie Hares (Reuters) adds, "Two more policemen were killed when a car bomb went off in the town of Balad Ruz, 90 km (55 miles) northeast of Baghdad, and bomb planted in a parked car in al Qaeda stronghold Mosul killed a civilian."

 Most reports float al Qaeda in Iraq as the culprit.  The Irish Examiner quotes MP Hakim al-Zamili who sits on the Security and Defense Committee stating, "Al-Qaida leaders have no intention of leaving this country or letting Iraqis live in peace.  Thus, we should expect more attacks in the near future. The situation in Iraq is still unstable ... and repetition of such attacks shows that our security forces are still unqualified to deal with the terrorists." If the series of assaults were part of the Islamic State of Iraq's Breaking The Walls campaign, they will no doubt claim credit in the next few days.    July 22nd, the Islamic State of Iraq released an audio recording announcing a new campaign of violence entitled Breaking The Walls which would include prison breaks and killing "judges and investigators and their guards."  (They also threatened to attack America on US soil.)  They are only one group in Iraq resorting to violence.  On the continued violence, Mohammed Tawfeeq offers this framework, "The violence comes just days after dozens of prisoners broke out of a jail in the northern Iraqi city of Tikrit. Among those who got out Thursday were several al Qaeda members on death row, according to authorities. The jailbreak occurred when armed men detonated two car bombs at the gates of Tasfirat jail. The explosions triggered clashes with security forces."

Meanwhile Iraqi President Jalal Talabani gets cozier with Iran.  Iran's Press TV reports that he met with Iran's Minister of Defense Ahmad Vahidi and the two gabbed over shared hatred of Israel with Jalal declaring "terrorism in the region would serve the interests of the Israeli regime."  Possbily Jalal just got as bored with his listening tour as everyone else already was.  Alsumaria notes he met with Ayad Allawi, head of Iraqiya.  Al Mada reports State of Law is calling for the National Conference to be held on the 15th.

Meanwhile the head of State of Law, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, is out of the country. 
Al Mada reports Nouri al-Maliki and five of his cabinet ministers as well as a number of Iraqi business people have headed to Russia for a three day visit where Nouri will try to rebirth the Cold War so that he can play Russia off the US and vice versa.  If he can't get the weapons he wants from the US, he will get them from Russia.  Pravda adds, "Russia may join the ranks of major importers of weapons to Iraq. During the visit of Iraqi Prime Minister al-Maliki's, a contract for $5 billion may be signed for the sale of MiG fighter jets, products of Russian Helicopters, anti-aircraft missile systems, armored vehicles and other weapons to the Middle Eastern country."

Lastly, in Kirkuk, Alsumaria reports, a food factory has been closed after the discovery of a half-ton of rotten meat. 

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