Iraq Government Spokesman Has

Iraq Criticizes Senate Vote;
72 Killed in Violence

An Iraq government spokesman has criticized the Senate vote for a withdrawal of troops from Iraq. (I was going to complain about Iraqi interference in US domestic politics. Then I thought, well, it is only fair that they return the favor.)

All 8 Democratic presidential contenders support a rapid withdrawal of US troops from Iraq.

Former CIA director George Tenet’s memoirs contain slams at Vice President Cheney for rushing the country to war with questionable assertions.

Junior officers in the US military are beginning to speak out against the top brass and the mistakes the latter have made in Iraq. Lt. Col. Paul Yingling warns that the US faces the possibility of losing in Iraq.

Guerrilla violence killed about 72 Iraqis on Thursday.

Reuters reports political violence in Iraq on Thursday:
Police found 26 bodies in Baghad. Police found 3 bodies in Kirkuk. In Baghdad, guerrillas used a car bomb to kill at lease 6 and wound 15 in a district near Baghdad University.

Iran is playing hard to get and is still not sure it will attend the Sharm El Sheikh conference on Iraq to be held in early May. Washington had envisaged a conversation there between Secretary of State Condi Rice and the Iranian delegation.

With Blair going out, Labour Party politicians are ordering a rethinking of the UK’s commitment to having troops in Iraq.

The USG Open Source Center paraphrases items from the Iraqi Press for April 26:

‘ Al-Bayyinah runs on the front page a 70-word report citing Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s Political Advisor Sadiq al-Rikabi confirming that Al-Maliki will independently nominate the candidates for the vacant ministerial posts and reject the demands of political blocs regarding the upcoming cabinet reshuffle.

Al-Bayyinah carries on the front page a 100-word exclusive report confirming that a seminar will be held in Baghdad University on 28 April to discuss the proposed Oil and Gas Bill. The report adds that parliament member Haydar al-Abadi, former Planning Minister Mahdi al-Hafiz and other Iraqi experts will attend the seminar.

Al-Bayyinah publishes on the front page a 500-word editorial praising late Shaykh Usamah al-Karbuli, Abd-al-Sattar Abu-Rishah and other Al-Anbar tribal chiefs for maintaining the unity of Iraqis and confronting the Al-Qa’ida Organization and other Takfiris in the governorate. . .

Al-Bayyinah carries on the front page a 600-word exclusive report citing sources close to the Association of Muslim Scholars confirming that the Jordanian Intelligence Agency has notified Association Chairman Harith al-Dari to stop his political activities against the Iraqi Government on the Jordanian territories. . .

Al-Zaman runs on page 3 a 300-word report entitled “Al-Fadilah Party Criticizes Government for Keeping Silent About Threats Against Basra Governor.” . .

Al-Zaman publishes on page 4 a 550-word report entitled “Salah al-Din Tribal Chiefs Demand Activation of National Reconciliation Project; Al-Shakti: Force Alone Will Not Restore Security, Constitution Should Be Amended.” . .

Al-Zaman publishes on page 4 a 200-word report entitled “Iraqi Al-Tawafuq Front Proposes To Postpone Voting on Gas and Oil Bill Until After Amendment of Constitution.” . .

Al-Mu’tamar runs on the front page an 80-word report saying that Al-Fadhila Islamic Party has demanded that parliament establish a neutral committee to investigate the situation in Basra. (OSC plans no further processing)

Al-Mu’tamar runs on the front page a 220-word report citing President Jalal Talabani demanding that the sectarian dispute in Tal Afar is contained. . .

Al-Mu’tamar runs on the front page a 40-word report saying that the Iraqi al-Tawqfuq Front withdrew from parliament yesterday to protest the national security law, which they described as illegal. . .

Al-Zaman carries on the front page a 240-word report citing a high-ranking police officer, who requested anonymity, confirming that joint Iraqi-US forces are imposing tight siege around Al-Tahrir District of Ba’qubah to search for Iraqi Islamic State Chairman Abu-Umar al-Baghdadi. . .

Al-Sabah carries on page 4 a 75-word report citing a security source in Wasit denying that Iranian forces have occupied a border police station in Al-Kut. . .

Al-Sabah carries on the front page a 140-word report citing eyewitnesses coming from Maysan saying that the security situation in the governorate is deteriorating, especially assassinations against women. . .

Al-Mada runs on the front page a 120-word report saying that, in the first day of utilizing the technical equipment and explosive sonar, three car bombers and an improvised explosive device were detected. . .

Al-Mada runs on the front page a 110-word report on an Al-Qa’ida operative who recruits 12-year-old children to commit acts of suicide. . .

Al-Manarah runs on page 4 a 200-word report entitled “Basra Teachers Union Declares Open Strike in All Schools in Governorate.”

Al-Manarah devotes all of page 5 to a report on the expanded symposium organized by the Civil Society Center in Central and Southern Governorates to discuss the proposed Freedom of Journalism in Iraq Bill.

Al-Bayyinah publishes on page 2 a 200-word report on the demonstration staged by the Passengers Transportation State Company’s workers demanding salary increase. . . ‘

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