26 Killed, 37 Wounded in Baghdad Bombing; Women’s Condition Deteriorating

A car bombing in a market district of Shaab, Baghdad, killed 26 and wounded 37 on Thursday, the fifth large bombing in March. The LAT underlines that blast walls separating Shiite Shaab from nearby Sunni Arab areas have recently been removed. But it should be remembered that Shaab used to be mixed and is now almost wholly Shiite, so there could be some disgruntled Sunnis and who struck back.

AP has video:

Al-Zaman reports in Arabic that Iranian speaker of the House Ali Larijani is on a secret mission in Iraq to mediate between the Islamic Mission (Da’wa) Party of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and his sometime coalition partner, the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq (ISCI). The two parties are seeking to form coalitions in several southern Shiite provincial councils, and Iran is said impatient for the deal to be concluded.

Compare this item to the complaints of the incoming US ambassador to Iraq, slamming Iranian influence.

Iraqi women are in the grip of a silent emergency, according to Oxfam:

‘ “Women are the forgotten victims of Iraq. Despite the billions of dollars poured into rebuilding Iraq and recent security gains, a quarter of the women interviewed still do not have daily access to water, a third cannot send their children to school and since the war started, over half have been the victim of violence.’

McClatchy reports political violence in Iraq on Thursday:

‘ Baghdad

A car bomb targeted civilians near al Zahraa Hospital in Shaab neighbourhood, northern Baghdad at 1 p.m. Thursday killing 16 civilians including four women, injuring 40 others including four women.

Nineveh

Gunmen attacked and killed a store owner in his store in Faisaliyah neighbourhood, central Mosul at 11.30 a.m. Thursday.

A joint Iraqi police and Iraqi army patrol opened fire upon a suspect speeding car that wouldn’t stop at the checkpoint in al Jamiaa neighbourhood in which Mosul University is located injuring the driver and accidentally killing a female student who was passing by. The car turned out to be booby trapped and was detonated under control without casualties.

- A gunman threw a grenade at a shop in Dawasa neighborhood in downtown Mosul in the afternoon. The shop owner was wounded and the gunman was arrested by police.

Kirkuk

Gunmen attempted to kidnap one of the body guards of the President of the Criminal Court in Kirkuk, Thursday morning. And during the ensuing hand fight, people started to gather and the gunmen fled leaving the body guard, Murad Fikret with superficial injuries.

Three workers in the Electricity Department in Kirkuk were injured when a roadside bomb targeted them while working in Rashad neighbourhood, western Kirkuk, early Thursday afternoon.’

My interview with Scott Horton of Antiwar.com is now available on the web. It concerns my book:


Engaging the Muslim World

End/ (Not Continued)