Karrada Bombing kills 26, 40 Bodies Found
Maliki Threatens Sunni MP
Reuters reports on political violence in Iraq’s ongoing civil war.
*Police found 40 bodies on Thursday, most of them showing signs of torture.
*Guerrillas set off a car bomb in a shopping district of the Karrada neighborhood of downtown Baghdad, killing 26 persons and wounding 40.
*Guerrillas detonated a car bomb in the Muraidi market of Sadr City (Shiite east Baghdad), killing one person and wounding 13.
*Guerillas fired rockets into the Green Zone in central Baghdad, site of the US embassy and Iraqi government offices. The attack seriously wounded one person and lightly injured 5 others. The Green Zone has often taken mortar fire, but seldom has suffered casualties. That nearly 4 years into the war, the US HQ in Iraq is subjected to rocket fire just underlines how helpless Gulliver is before the supposed Lilliputians.
Guerrillas set off other bombs in Baghdad, some of which killed as many as 4 persons. There were also bombings in Tal Afar and Fallujah, and violence in several other cities.
The NYT reports that PM Nuri al-Maliki presented his security plan to parliament for approval. Sunni Arabs claimed that the plan punished Sunnis and let Shiite militias off the hook. In the course of the debate, he got into a shouting match with a Sunni Arab MP, Abdul Nasser al-Janabi, whom he then accused of being directly involved in the kidnapping of 150 persons from his district.. The PM threatened to release information about the man. The speaker of the house Mahmoud al-Mashahani tried to call for order, then threatened to resign, himself. In the end, the plan was passed by parliament, but only after an ugly scene in which Sunni-Shiite conflict and resentments erupted.
Al-Janabi is a member of the Iraqi Accord Front (Sunni fundamentalists). Al-Sharq al-Awsat reports in Arabic that after the meeting, al-Janabi attempted to approach al-Maliki, but the security would not let him get close.
Al-Hayat reports in Arabic that the Sadr Movement of Muqtada al-Sadr gave its unstinting support to al-Maliki’s security plan. It was speculated that this step is an attempt to avoid a confrontatation with US forces. The London daily also confirms that the Sadrists have appointed a negotiator to talk directly to the Americans on behalf of the commanders of the Mahdi Army militia. It says that some Mahdi Army commanders have scattered to Kut, Babil and Taji or even to neighboring countries, and that al-Maliki has avoided having to choose between his American partners and his Sadrist allies by convincing the Mahdi Army to fade away for the moment. It says US ambassador in Baghdad Zalmay Khalilzad expressed concern that gunmen in Iraq may go into hiding during the US “surge,” and then reappear when it is over.
I think that is what Gen. Abizaid tried to warn about when he argued against an escalation.
Iraq is in talks with Chevron and Exxon regarding the building of a $3 bn. oil facility.
When I said that the attack on the US embassy in Athens would prove to have something to do with the Amerian war in Iraq, there were those that scoffed.