Monday, May 27, 2013

May's death toll in Iraq may hit 800

This weekend, it was a good guess that the death toll in Iraq would reach 700 before the month was over.  Now 800 doesn't seem out of reach.  Through yesterday, Iraq Body Count counts 678 violent deaths so far this month.

And violence again slammed Iraq today.  Duraid Adnan (New York Times) reports that the bombing attacks in Baghdad began in "afternoon rush hour traffic."  All Iraq News adds that there were 13 car bombs today in Baghdad alone: "Sa'adon, Baghdad Jadida, Sabai'liBour, Maalif, Kadhimya, Sadriyah, Diyala Bridge, SHaab, Habibiya, Baladiyat and Jurriya areas." Aziz Alwan (Los Angeles Times) reports, "The bombs went off in and around mostly Shiite Muslim areas of Baghdad, the capital, at markets and other public areas that were teeming with civilians, and primarily were planted in cars or on motorcycles, authorities said."  Reuters notes that they claimed over 70 lives.  DPA counts 75 deaths in Baghdad and over 200 injured.

That would move the count to 748.

If . . .

Baghdad were the only place in Iraq.

National Iraqi News Agency notes a Tikrit bombing claimed the lives of 2 Sahwa and left another three injured,  a police officer was injured (four bullets to the chest) while standing in front of his Babil home, a Falluja roadside bombing left two Iraqi soldiers injured, a government employee carrying "the salaries of his colleagues" was stabbed to death in Hit, a Kirkuk bombing left a Sahwa injured, 1 police officer was shot dead on the streets of Mosul, an armed clash in Mosul left three people injured (two were police), a Mosul bombing claimed the life of 1 police colonel, 1 teacher was shot dead in Baquba, and a Baquba roadside bombing left two people injured.   All Iraq News notes that the US Embassy in Baghdad issued a statement denouncing the bombings and attacks.

Cleric and movement leader Moqtada al-Sadr addressed the violence.  Alsumaria notes he declared that the country is without a government to protect it and that the people needed to eliminate hate from their heart.  He attacked Israel as the enemy and said the people had moved from God and were being punished.  Speaker of Parliament Osama al-Nujaifi also weighed in.  NINA notes he called on "the government and security commanders, who refrained from coming before Parliament, to present acceptable justifications for the security deterioration that made the Iraqis pay dearly in the lives of innocent people."

US Secretary of State John Kerry is overseas currently.  Since Friday, he's been to Tel Aviv, Ethiopia, Jordan and Paris.  He's made many remarks during the travel.  Bradley Klapper (AP) fact checks some of the statements made in the last four days including one on Iraq:

 KERRY: “I opposed the president’s decision to go into Iraq.”
THE FACTS: This is a simpler account of his complex position on the Iraq war than the one that caused him grief in his 2004 Democratic presidential campaign against President George W. Bush. Speaking during the campaign about money for the war, Kerry declared, “I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it.” Critics shorthanded this comment to “I was for it before I was against it,” painting him as a flip-flopper. Although Kerry turned against the war, two years earlier he had voted to give Bush, in his words, “the authority to use force, if necessary, to disarm Saddam Hussein.”

On Kerry's overseas trip, the US Embassy in Baghdad posted the following:

قام وزير الخارجية الاميركية جون كيري بزيارة بعض المطاعم العربية في رام الله أثناء زيارته للمنطقة.
لو زار الوزير كيري بلدك، فماذا تنصحوه أن ياكل؟ واين؟
Secretary of State John Kerry visited a Middle Eastern restaurant during his recent visit to the Middle East. If Secretary Kerry visited your country, what would you like him to eat and where?
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