Friday, February 08, 2013

At least 36 dead

Iraq has been slammed today with multiple car bombings.  CBS and AP count at least 30 dead.  BBC News notes over 80 injured, two bombings in Baghdad and two in Hilla.  Press TV explains of the Baghdad assualt, "Iraqi security and medical sources reported that bombings targeted a crowded bird market in the Kadhimiyah neighborhood of the capital, Baghdad, just after 9:00 a.m. local time (0600 GMT) on Friday."  On the Baghdad assault, AFP reports, "Glass and shrapnel was scattered across the scene, an AFP journalist said, while pools of blood had formed on the ground and a chain-link fence was badly mangled. Several nearby cars were completely destroyed, and while passers-by scanned the wreckage, security forces tried to bar journalists from interviewing people in the area or taking pictures or videos."  Mohammed Tawfeeq (CNN) explains, "That type of market tends to be very busy on Fridays, part of the weekend in Iraq, and have been targeted in the past by attackers."  Hou Qiang (Xinhua) notes, "An official with the local police station told Xinhua on condition of anonymity that the area is a Shiite Muslim community and has seen many attacks launched by the Sunni insurgents."

Turning to the Hilla assault,  RTE notes, "A further 13 people were killed in two car bomb explosions at a vegetable market in the Shia city of Hilla, 100km south of Baghdad."  Kareem Raheem, Ali al-Rubaie, Suadad al-Salhy, Isabel Coles and Jon Hemming (Reuters) quote eye witness Habib al-Murshidi stating, "I was shopping when I heard the first explosion.  I was scared and tried to reach my car to run away but before I got in the second explosion went off.  I saw many people, women and old men lying on the ground which was covered with blood and scattered fruit and vegetables."  All Iraq News reports of the two car bombs that one car was paked in a garage and the other near the market

Al Jazeera, the Christian Science Monitor and PRI's Jane Arraf Tweets on another bombing:

  1. Blast near Karbala near Dawa headquarters, PM Maliki's party, kills 2, police say. At least 31 dead in three Friday attacks.

Another car bomb - near Karbala. At least 2 dead, 6 wounded in latest bombing of Shias. Demos in Sunni areas rail against PM Maliki.

Of the Karbala bombing, Alsumaria notes it took place at noon local time and also damaged cars and buildings.

For the seventh week, protests continue in Iraq with today being dubbed "NO to the Tyrannical Ruler."  Alsumaria notes that Anbar Province demonstrators have condemned the bombing and are calling for the government to implement their demands or resign.  Kitabat notes protests today in Anbar, Mosul, Salahuddin, Kirkuk, Diyala and Baghdad and that protesters are calling Nouri the Pharaoh of Iraq (it's not a compliment) and noting that his State of Law didn't win the 2010 parliamentary elections but he used the Erbil Agreement to grab the post of prime minister then disregarded the partnership agreement.  Najaf demonstrators called this morning for Article IV of the Constitution to be gutted ('terrorists' arrests -- if you can't find your suspect, arrest a relative).  Alsumaria notes "hundreds" demonstrating in Kirkuk and demanding that Nouri's government resign if they are unable to meet the demands of the protesters.  Sinan Salaheddin (AP) notes protesters in Falluja and Ramadi again "blocked the main highway to Jordan."

The bombings are being blamed on al Qaeda in Iraq although no one has come forward to take responsibility.  That they took place today -- the press fails to note -- further disproves the false link Nouri has tried to make between the protests and violence.  Fridays are the big days for the protests and the only days that the world press may choose to notice.  The story out of Iraq this morning should have been about how, yet again, Friday has seen even more protesters take to the street.  The narrative should have been about how the protests continue to grow.  That goes to the popularity of the cause and the dislike for Nouri.  The bombings distract from the protests. 

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