Baghdad slammed with bombing, 23 dead, over 60 injured [ 88601 ] -
The Common Ills
June 4, 2012
A new week, a new month and yet the news remains consistent: Baghdad slammed by bombings. Again. Kareem Raheem (Reuters) quotes police officer Ahmed Hassan stating, "It was a powerful explosion, dust and smoke covered the area. At first, I couldn't see anything, but then I heard screaming women and children. We rushed with other people to help . . . the wounded were scattered all around, and there were body parts on the main street."
Mohammed Tawfeeq (CNN) reports the morning attack was a suicide bomber who attacked "the offices of Shiite religious affairs." Yang Lina (Xinhua) explains, "The Shiite endowment office is an independent body affiliated to the government and is responsible for running the Shiite mosques and their religious properties." Radio Netherlands Worldwide adds, "The attack comes amid a dispute between Iraq's Shiite and Sunni endowments, which manage the country's religious landmarks, over a shrine north of Baghdad, and a protracted political standoff that has raised sectarian tensions in a country racked by brutal communal bloodshed from 2006 to 2008." AGI quotes the deputy director of the endowmen, Sami al-Massudi, stating, "We are not accusing anyone but we are appealing to the Iraqi people and especially to the children of our religion to move swiftly to bury the discord." AFP notes that the Sunni Endowment headquarters were attacked shortly after by at least one bombing or mortar attack (the Ministry of the Interior states it was a roadside bombing) and the Sunnin Endowment spokesperson, Faris al-Mahdawi, is quoted stating, "We reject and condemn this criminal, cowardly, fanatical attack. These attacks aim to create divisions between the Iraqi people. There are dirty hands that are playing sectarianism, and trying to bring the country back to the years of violence."
An unnamed hospital source tells Alsumaria that 16 corpses were received and 83 injured. AGI notes that the death toll has risen to 22. And it will probably continue to rise. ITV notes it's at 23. They also have two photos that are AP photos and you would hope AP would assemble a photo essay quickly because this was a very destructive bomb in terms of the buildings and they've got some powerful photos (Hadi Mizban is the photographer of the two AP photos ITV is featuring). It is just leveled with debris everywhere as police and firefighters search for survivors who may be trapped. Virgin Media has three other photos (I believe they're also by Hadi Mizban but they aren't credited to anyone).
AP reports that the injured include Baghdad Health Department's Adel Ahmed who was at work when the nearby bombing attack took palce and that the ceiling in the Health Department came loose and hit him in the head. AP offers an slide show presenation on violence since 2003 here. AFP offers a timeline of some of the major violence in the last months.