Truck Bombing in Market Kills 15; Sadrists to contest Elections Independently

Guerrillas detonated a parked truck bomb at a market in mostly Sunni Arab Dora on Wednesday morning, killing 15 and wounding 50. A big truck appears to have pulled up beside the one rigged with the bomb, shielding many in the crowd at the farmer’s market (most of the stalls were occupied by Shiite farmers), so the death toll could have been massive otherwise. Also, a second bomb was found at the scene but detonated under controlled circumstances.

AP adds, “Hours later, a car bomb exploded in the capital’s Karada district, killing two people and wounding six, police said. It apparently was meant for a police patrol but missed. Seven other people were wounded when a bomb exploded near Palestine Street in mostly Shiite Muslim east Baghdad, police said.”

Guerrillas blew up the Kirkuk oil pipeline yet again on Wednesday, interrupting pumping in 15 wells.

Meanwhile, Heritage Oil announced that it had found a field of 4.5 bn. barrels of petroleum in Iraqi Kurdistan.

The USG Open Source Center translates this Al-Hayat report in Arabic on the Sadr Movement’s conference in Istanbul, attended by the movement’s head, Muqtada al-Sadr. Al-Sadr met with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan just before the movement conference. Excerpts:

‘ Iraqi Al-Sadr Trend Member Comments on Turkey Conference, Notes Al-Sadr Stands
Report from Baghdad by Al-Hayah correspondent Husayn Ali Dawud: “Al-Sadr chose Turkey as venue of the conference because of ‘its positive stands’ toward Iraq. He prefers to run in the elections outside the Shiite coalition.”
Al-Hayah Online
Wednesday, May 6, 2009 . . .
Document Type: OSC Translated Text . . .

. . .Al-Sadr refused to establish a political party for the trend. He emphasized theneed to monitor the government’s performance and uncover its mistakes. On the other hand, he decided not to run in the [forthcoming parliamentary] elections as part of the Shiite Unified Iraqi Coalition.

Fawzi Akram Tarazi, a leading figure in the Al-Sadr Bloc, told Al-Hayah: . . . “Al-Sadr and senior leaders of the trend vehemently refused a move to turn the trend into a political party because such a move would reduce the great popular support for the trend and make it limited to a specific group, something that Al-Sadr rejects.” . .

In reply to aquestion why Turkey was chosen as a venue for the conference, Tarazi said:”It was chosen because of its positive stands toward Iraq. It rejected arequest by the United States to use its territories in the invasion of Iraq in 2003, and it is the only state among the countries neighboring Iraq from where no armed men infiltrated into Iraq. Besides, it did not close its embassy to the Iraqis, as did many Arab states.” . . .

Commenting on Al-Sadr’s stand toward the security agreement, which was signed between the Iraqi Government and the United States, after it came into force, Tarazi said: “Al-Sadr rejects the security agreement, and his stand has not changed. We believe that this agreement is a new mandate and a document to legalize the occupation.” . . .

Tarazi pointed out: “The conference’s most important resolution was on how the Al-SadrTrend will participate in the upcoming legislative elections.” These elections are due to be held early in February 2011.

Tarazi said: “The conferees noted the failure of the trend’s alliance with the UnifiedIraqi Coalition. They talked about drawing a new map for the Al-Sadr Trend anddiscussed the trend’s past shortcomings and failures and a move to open up toall Iraqi groups without exception. They also discussed the trend’s relationship with other senior religious authorities.” . .

For his part, a prominent leading figure in the Al-Sadr Trend, who refused to be named, told Al-Hayah: . . . “The most prominent goal is to stop the United States’ campaign againstthe Al-Sadr Trend. The United States spends large amount of funds on this campaign.”

He said:”The trend’s status will change in the coming period.”

He disclosed that Al-Sadr continues to reside in Iran and that he will return to Iraq soon, now that he has completed his religious study in Qom.’

Mcclatchy reports Wednesday’s political violence:

‘ Baghdad

– A parked car bomb targeted civilians in al Rasheed wholesale market for vegetables at 6 a.m. Wednesday killing 11, one of whom was a woman and injuring 37 others. A second car bomb not 20 m from the entrance of the open air market was found and detonated under control by Iraqi security forces.

– A parked car bomb exploded in Karrada, central Baghdad at 11.30 a.m. Wednesday killing one civilian, injuring seven others.

– Around 8:15 p.m. a roadside bomb detonated near a cafĂ© in Imarat Al-Siha in Abu Dshir in southern Baghdad on Wednesday. Eight people were wounded.

Nineveh

– A roadside bomb targeted a police patrol in Ras al Jada neighbourhood, western Mosul on Tuesday killing one civilian.

– A roadside bomb targeted a police patrol in al Matahin neighbourhood, southwestern Mosul on Tuesday injuring one of the policemen in the patrol.

– A roadside bomb detonated in Al-Jazair neighborhood in eastern Mosul in the afternoon. One person was killed and two others were wounded.

– A roadside bomb detonated in Al-Yarmouk neighborhood in western Mosul in the afternoon. Two people were wounded.’

End/ (Not Continued)

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