Thursday, January 17, 2013

Bombings across Iraq

Iraq is yet again slammed with violence today in what has already been a very violent month.  Iraq Body Count counts 165 people dead from violence in Iraq this month through Wednesday.  165 killed in 16 days which is a little over 10 deaths every day. AFP counts at least 16 dead in today's violence while Press TV points out, "The latest wave of violence comes only a day after 40 people were killed and over 200 others wounded in a spate of terrorist attacks across the country.BBC News notes 4 dead in a Hilla bombing. Alsumaria adds that seven were injured and they note the bombing as Babel.  (It's the same area and dependent upon whether you're using the Babylon reference.) Following the bombing, Alsumaria reports, protesters gathered outside the police station and demanded the resignation of the police director.  Ahlul Bayt News Agency notes a Karbala car bombing that claimed the lives of 4 Shi'ite pilgrims with another twelve injured. Lu Hui (Xinhua) reports that7 people are dead and over 25 injured as a result of 2 car bombings in al-Dujail (Salahuddin Province) with the first bomb allegedly being used to attract a crowd in the immediate aftermath and the second bomb going off after the crowd was present attempting to provide aid.  AP notes that the death toll from those two car bombings has already risen to 11 and that the injured now stands at sixty.  The UK Express reports a Qassim car bombing which claimed 5 lives and left twenty injured and a Baghdad roadside bombing which claimed 2 lives and left two people injured.  In addition, Alsumaria reports that a Baghdad truck driver was targeted with a sticky bombing attached to his truck which left him injured, that a Baquba car bombing has left more than one person injured, and Sahwa continues to be targeted with three homes sustaining damage in Kirkuk today (villages of Arafa Hawija, Alamadhorih and Akolh) from bombingsAll Iraq News notes Col Khaled al-Hamdani, former Director General of Nineveh Province, has disclosed he survived an assassination attempt today when a bombing targeted his convoy as it went through Mosul.  All Iraq News also reports a Mousl car bombing which left four people wounded.

As violence slams Iraq repeatedly this week, All Iraq News notes today that it is now one month since Iraqi President Jalal Talabani had his stroke and that cleric and movement leader Moqtada al-Sadr issued a statement wishing Talabani a speedy and full recovery.  Late on the evening of December 17th (see the December 18th snapshot), President Jalal Talibani had a stroke and was admitted to Baghdad's Medical Center Hospital.    Thursday, December 20th, he was moved to Germany's Charite University Hospital.  He remains in Germany currently.  Al Mada reported last week that Fuad Masum of the Kurdistan Alliance states he visited with Jalal yesterday and that he is "steadily improving" that Jalal was able to shake hands, that he listened and spoke -- and spoke to those in the room in Kurdish, Arabic and English.  Rightly or wrongly, there is a feeling that were Jalal in Iraq and at full health, some of Nouri's stunts this month would not be taking place.

Alsumaria notes that MP Jawad Alshahyla (with Moqtada al-Sadr's parliamentary bloc) states that he believes they are getting close to voting on limiting the three presidencies to two terms.  The three presidencies are the President of Iraq, the Prime Minister of Iraq and the Speaker of the Parliament.  The Constitution already limits the President of Iraq to two terms.  The concern here is Nouri al-Maliki who swore in February 2011 that he would not seek a third term but quickly pulled that promise.  Iraq may not survive two full terms of Nouri.  A third is very frightening.

Al Mada reports that the religious uathority in Najaf is calling for a change in the governing of Iraq and is stating that if Nouri can change, great, if not, he needs to be replaced.  An unnamed source states that the religious authoirty is calling for Nouri to agree not to seek a third term, for him to implement the Erbil Agreement in full and for him to stop manipulating the judiciary.

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