Meanwhile in Iraq, NINA notes that unidentified gunmen began "simultaneously attacking the Taji and Abu Ghraib prisons" with gun fire, "improvised explosive devices and RPG launchers." They also report that the military and the police ("supported with helicopters") were surrounding the prisons. Jack Phillips (Epoch Times) adds:
Al Jazeera reported on its front page that the attack was taking place on Sunday night, and involved assailants with rocket-propelled grenades, but it did not offer more details.
The Associated Press also confirmed there were clashes at the prison on Sunday.
Charles Lister, with IHS Jane’s Terrorism & Insurgency Centre–an intelligence organization, wrote that a “senior ISIS commander claims Abu Ghraib & Taji prison attacks have been a success. Convoys of escaped prisoners now en route to ‘safety.’” At around 6 p.m., Lister added that “several jihadi sources claim fighting is over at Abu Ghraib.”
Jane Arraf (Al Jazeera -- report is text and video) notes of the attacks, ""[Abu Ghraib prison] is now home to several high-ranking al-Qaeda prisoners, as is the prison in Taji. It appears to be an attempt to free those prisoners." All Iraq News reports that the prison attacks have been stopped. Alsumaria adds that, during the attack, prisoners in Abu Ghraib rioted and burned portions of the prison.
The violence never ends in Iraq. northsum32 (All Voices) notes over 250 violent deaths have taken place in Iraq since the start of Ramadan. Morning Star notes over 70 people have died this weekend alone. Violence has been increasing in Iraq since 2010. Today on Al Jazeera, Jane Arraf offers observations on the violence.
Jane Arraf: And really, it's the scope of the targets, the widening of the targets, and the coordinated nature of the attacks such as the eleven car bombs that hit the capital last night that really have people worried. When you think of the amount of coordination that would have to go into that, these security checks they bypassed, the sheer amount of money and then the suicide bombers who have been blowing themselves up lately, it all really points, according to most Iraqis, to an alarming rise in violence here that security forces can't handle.
Ammar Karim (AFP) reports one immediate effect of the violence is that fewer Iraqis are venturing out to "popular hangouts" due to the increased risk of being attacked and fearing turning up on Facebook as a photo of yet another remembered freind who was killed in the ongoing violence. All Iraq News notes cleric and movement leader Moqtada al-Sadr is calling for the people to protest the government's lack of response to the violence and sttes, "The silence of the people concerning the terrorist bombings, the people of other countries would revolt and call for toppling the government if their countries witnessed such bombings. We witness strange silence over these bombings and we cannot grant the government another chance to improve the situation."
The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq issued the following today:
In his last message to the Iraqis: Kobler strongly condemns the series of bombings, pleads for peace
“These criminal acts targeting Muslims praying in mosques or gathering after breaking their fast are senseless. The holy month of Ramadan should be a time for spirituality and forgiveness, instead of increasing violence and division," Mr. Kobler said.
"I am deeply saddened that my last words as the SRSG for Iraq have to be linked to violence and criminal acts. I call on all Iraqis not to let violence prevail and to work together toward peace and dialogue, the only sustainable solution," he added, in an ultimate plea for peace and understanding among all Iraqis.
Also condemning the attacks is the British government via Charge d'Affaires to Iraq Robert Dean. All Iraq News quotes Dean stating, "The British government denounces the terrorist bombings that took place in Baghdad on Saturday and resulted in killing and injuring many civilians. We assure that violence and terrorism have no place in Iraq's future and the bombings in Ramadan month are terrifying."
National Iraqi News Agency reports an armed Falluja attack left 2 police members dead and a third injured, 1 police officer was shot dead in downtown Falluja by a sniper, police found 2 corpses in te Tigris River (father and son, dead from gunshot wounds), an armed attack left 5 Peshmerga dead, a Samarra roadside bombing injured one person, and Sheikh Atta Askar was shot dead in Hilla. All Iraq News adds that 3 corpses were discovered in Shurqat (two brothers and a nephew) with shots to the head. Qassim Abdul-Zahra (AP) reports, "Earlier in the day, a bomb exploded in a fish market in Taji, killing four and wounding 15, according to police. Another bomb exploded outside the house of an anti-al-Qaida Sunni militia leader in the town of Basmaiya, killing two and wounding four."
I'm traveling in some vehicle
I'm sitting in some cafe
A defector from the petty wars
That shell shock love away
-- "Hejira," written by Joni Mitchell, first appears on her album of the same name
The number of US service members the Dept of Defense states died in the Iraq War is [PDF format warning] 4488.
The latest from Third went up earlier this edition:
- Truest statement of the week
- Truest statement of the week II
- A note to our readers
- Editorial: Helen Thomas and the importance of Iraq...
- Media: The wall-to-wall so-called 'discussion'
- News you might have missed
- There Is No Black Leadership
- News you might have missed
- Saving which children?
- Jim's World
- Summer TV worth watching
- That's the way the faux opposition crumbles (David...
- Are there non-disclosure agreements on Benghazi?
And Isaiah's latest goes up after this.
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