Tuesday, January 22, 2013

At least 25 dead in today's violence (46 injured)

Yet again this month, Iraq is slammed with bombings.  Press TV counts 18 dead from "bombings in and around the capital."  Sameer N. Yacoub (AP) reports a Mahmoudiya car bombing claimed 5 lives (15 injured),  a Taji suicide car bombing claimed 7 lives (26 injured) and a Baghdad car bombing claimed 5 lives (15 injured).  All Iraq News notes that the Baghdad car bombing was in Shula near a popular market.  In addition, Alsumaria reports a Kirkuk roadside bombing injured 3 Sahwa.

But it wasn't just bombs.  Alsumaria reports 1 Sahwa was shot dead today outside of Tikrit. All Iraq News reports a Mosul battle in which assailants shot dead 2 police officers and wounded five other people including one soldier while an armed battle in Falluja left 1 police officer dead and another injured. and late last night an attack on a Falluja checkpoint left 1 Iraqi soldier dead and another injuredWorld Bulletin notes Major General Shakir Khalil was wounded last night when his convoy was attacked in Tikrit. 

In what may end up being the most controversial violence of the day, a kidnap victim was killed by police.  Alsumaria reports that police launched an attack outside Samarra on two kidnappers, killing both as well as the person being kidnapped.  Saad, the kidnap victim, is the cousin of Iraqiya MP Shaalan Karim.  When the police kill a kidnap victim, it's news.  When the police kill a Sunni kidnap victim, it's bigger news.  When the police under Nouri al-Maliki's control kill a man whose cousin is an MP of a rival political slate, it's really big news. 

In terms of perspective and/or analysis,  AFP offers, "The violence and political troubles come with barely three months to go before provincial elections, Iraq's first polls in three years and a key barometer to gauge the popularity of Maliki and his rivals."  Provincial elections are supposed to take place in April.  Others emphasize the protests.  Deutsche Welle notes, "It comes following four weeks of anti-government protests in areas with a Sunni majority (like the one pictured above showing protests in Falluja on January 16) and just days after several attacks claimed more than 80 lives last week."   Kareem Raheem, Ahmeed Rasheed and Patrick Markey (Reuters) observe, "Shi'ite premier Maliki's government is trying to ease mass Sunni protests that erupted a month ago and his central government is also locked in a dispute with the country's autonomous Kurdistan region over control of oilfields."

The protests continue today.  In a new development, protesters are being visited by United Nations representatives.  Alsumaria reports a UN delegation arrived in Ramadi today to speak with demonstrators.  All Iraq News notes that they met with college students in Anbar Province yesterday.  The UN isn't the only one meeting with protesters.  All Iraq News notes that former prime minitser and current head of the National Alliance Ibrahim al-Jaafari met with Speaker of Parliament Osama al-Nujaifi to discuss the demands of the protesters.  This is becoming a big issue in Parliament.  Wael Grace (Al Mada) reports that there was a four hour meeting yesterday overseen by al-Jaafari where MPs deiscussed how to address the demands, that Iraqiya is considering withdrawing from Parliament, that the Sadr bloc is furious with State of Law which has again blocked an amnesty law from being passed.  Ali al-Timimi is an MP with Moqtada al-Sadr's bloc.  Grace quotes al-Timimi stating that State of Law has again rejected a proposal for an amnesty law and that State of Law is refusing to listen to the demands of protesters.

Beyond the Parliament, there are also issues with Nouri's Cabient.  Alsumaria reports Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlaq announced Iraqiya ministers would be boycotting Cabinet meetings over Nouri al-Maliki's refusal to listen to the demands of the protesters.

Yesterday, Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Barry O and the Dronettes," Kat's "Kat's Korner: Taylor Swift glows on Red" and Ruth's "Ruth's Radio Report." 
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