PARIS: The first contingent of an African force being deployed in Mali has begun moving towards the centre of the country, where French troops are seeking to help Mali's army push back Islamist fighters, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Wednesday.
"A certain number of (African) forces have already started to move towards central towns," Fabius told a parliamentary committee.
DJENNE, Mali: Malian soldiers killed people accused of ties to radical Islamists at a bus stop around the time the French-led military intervention began, a witness told The Associated Press on Wednesday, detailing how the soldiers shot the victims and then threw their bodies into nearby wells. The people making the accusations crawl out of the woodwork right on schedule. Some of the charges will be true, some made up out of whole cloth, some exaggerated. Next step will be for the Frenchies to be doing the executions, looting, a few rapes here and there, and/or running amok in other ways. I think this is page 10 in the asymmetrical warfare instruction booklet.
The account from the witness, who insisted on anonymity for fear of reprisals, came the same day that a French human rights group accused Malian forces of dozens of "summary executions" and other abuses as they confront Islamic extremists. How do you say "tut tut" in French?
"They gathered all the people who didn't have national identity cards and the people they suspected of being close to the Islamists to execute them and put them in two different wells near the bus station," he said. "Mahmoud, I wish that bus to Karachi would hurry up and get here!"
"If it don't get here soon we're toast!"
"Yore peppahs, pliss!"
[BANG! BANG! BANGETY BANG!
The soldiers later poured gasoline in the wells and set the bodies ablaze, he said. [KAWOOMPF!]
The man described seeing at least three people killed in the incident at the Sevare bus stop on Jan. 10, a day before the French launched their military offensive following a surge southward by the Islamists into the town of Konna. A day before the offensive? When the Malian forces were reported to be clutching each other in delicious fear of the beturbanned invaders?
The military blocked journalists from reaching the town of Sevare on Wednesday, expanding its security cordon all the way to the town of Djenne. Reporters trying to reach the area, including an Associated Press team, were turned away at checkpoints by soldiers, who cited the national state of emergency and concerns for the journalists' safety. "Hi! I'm Jimmy Olson, from the Daily Planet! Here's my press pass..."
"Back off, you fool! You can't go in there! Somebody will shoot you!"
"[SNIFF!] You're just afraid I'll take pictures of all the dead bodies!"
"Hey, M. le Capitaine! We got another wise guy here!"
"Sacred blue! Another one?"
On Wednesday, the International Federation for Human Rights, or FIDH by its French acronym, called for the creation of an independent commission to look into the crimes and punish those responsible.
How about a commission to investigate all the killings done by the rebels? You know, as long as you're going about establishing commissions and all. Maybe you can get Carla del Ponte to help out with that...
FIDH charged that Malian forces were behind about 33 killings - including of ethnic Tuaregs - since new fighting erupted Jan. 10 along the narrow belt between the government-controlled south and the north, which has been under the control of al-Qaida-linked militants for months. FIDH, naturally, investigated each case and determined that the deaders were non-combatants.
Malian Army Capt. Modibo Traore said the allegations were "completely false" but declined to comment further. "How come the lower half of your face isn't as tanned as the upper half?"
"And you 'lost' your papers where again?"
"And your clothes don't fit right..."
"And you got a Pak accent..."
"And we gotta guy sez you sawed off his hand."
"Y'know, Captain, that was probably a human rights violation!"
"My heart [burp!] burns bleeds."
Human rights groups have long expressed concerns about retaliatory violence against northern Malians or anyone seen as having ties to the Islamists whose capture of the north has divided the country in two. "Tut tut. And tut. We can't have unnecessary violence against a swarm of Islamic brutes who tried to steal half the country!"
Asked in an interview Wednesday on France 24 television whether he knew of abuses committed by Malian forces, French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said only: "There's a risk."
Ah the French, masters of understatement. I'm surprised Mr. Le Drian didn't just give a Gallic shrug and walk away...
France is "counting on" the top ranks of the Malian army to help avoid any abuses, Le Drian said. "Yes, my dear allies! We are counting on you! We will be shocked, shocked, I tell you, should these Salafists be put down like mad dogs!"
"Aside from those who let themselves get indoctrinated by terrorists, who we totally condemn ... the Tuaregs are our friends," said Le Drian. "Why, only last Thermidor they loaned us their lawn mower!"
Human rights groups have expressed concern about the situation in Mali - notably the activities of Malian troops. In a statement, FIDH pointed to "a series of summary executions" perpetrated by Malian forces notably in the towns of Sevare, Mopti, Niono and others along the lines of clashes. "That's impossible! Page 12 of Malian army regulations specifically forbids such actions!"
In Sevare, at least 11 people were killed at a military camp, near its bus station and its hospital, and "credible information" pointed to about 20 other executions with the bodies "buried hastily, notably in wells," FIDH said. The Malians are dealing with armed or potentially armed banditti, not with prisoners of war...
Malian troops also killed two ethnic Tuaregs in the Niono region, and "other allegations of summary executions continue to come to us," the group said. The ethnicity of the deaders is immaterial. What's material is the question of whether they were members of the turban groups?
Dozens of ethnic Tuaregs in Bamako, Mali's capital far to the southwest, have had their homes raided by Malian forces, and at times been subjected to pillage and intimation, the group said. But not to summary execution. That actually tells me (but what the hell do I know?) that the Malians are looking for the armed and dangerous guys, that they're trying to clean out fifth columnists, and that they're giving the benefit of the doubt. If they weren't, there would be at least a few dead Tuaregs in the capital. You can take it as a given that there were infiltrators and sympathizers. Probably in the next year or so there will be a few executions, assuming they can finger the guys with no visible means of support.
All of the victims are accused of being infiltrators or of having ties to the jihadists, of possessing weapons, or of not being able to produce identity papers or "simply targeted because of their ethnicity," it said. I just said that.
The Islamist fighters have controlled the vast desert stretches of northern Mali, with the weak government clinging to the south, since a military coup in the capital in March last year unleashed chaos. And now they're trying to take their country back, since the Frenchies have so kindly come to their assistance. Losing it was a bloody fiasco. Gaining back will be a triumph (of French arms, rather than Malian -- I think the entire Malian army is 7,500 strong) but it'll likely be nearly as bloody.
Egypt's Islamist president has warned that the French-led military intervention in Mali will worsen rather than resolve the conflict. I've worn a groove in the top of my head, scratching it, as I try and figure why doing nothing and letting an international turban organization take over a country with major acreage in the Sahel and borders with lots of other places the turbans regard as their natural stomping grounds, would be a good thing.
Mohammed Morsi, who is to visit Paris Feb. 1, said the use of force will "make the situation so much worse than before," speaking in Cairo Wednesday.
Let the French have the F16s and M1s on the condition that they're stationed in Chad and used to support the fight against the Islamicists in the region...
Posted by: Steve White ||
01/24/2013 10:44 Comments ||
And when Morsi turns the tanks and F-16's against his own people.... what then ?
Someone will eruditely and at length point out he is rightsizing the population for the nation's resources, just like has been happing in Zimbabwe. The alternatives being 1) turning them against Israel, and 2) letting them sit in their storage facilities and rust. Quite possibly all three will happen.
Mohammed Morsi, who is to visit Paris Feb. 1, said the use of force will "make the situation so much worse for Arab imperialists trying to annex sub-Saharan Africa than before," speaking in Cairo Wednesday.
PARIS: French forces in Mali have been taken by surprise by the fighting strength of the Islamist radicals they are attempting to drive out of the centre of the country, it emerged on Sunday. Aides to President Francois Hollande admitted the militants were better equipped, armed and trained than they had expected.
Libyan arms, rebel leaders previously trained by U.S. Special Forces, and a willingness to die for their cause. Not a surprise.
"What has struck us markedly is how modern their equipment is and their ability to use it," one said in a reference to the rebels' hit on a French Gazelle helicopter.
The helicopter was forced to make an emergency landing and its pilot, Lieutenant Damien Boiteux, died of his injuries after being shot with a light arm. The helicopter was brought down during an attack on an Islamist convoy travelling between the towns of Mopti and Sevare in central Mali.
"Initially, they appeared like a rag-tag bunch travelling in their technicals Toyotas with a few weapons," the official added. "But they've shown themselves to be well-equipped, well-armed and well-trained."
The French officials believe the Islamists obtained many of their weapons during last year's unrest, when arms were delivered to rebels fighting to overthrow Libyan dictator Moamer Kadhafi.
"In Libya they picked up modern, sophisticated kit that is a lot more robust and effective than could have been imagined," the source added.
The strength of the Islamists appears to have bolstered France's resolve to limit its intervention to pushing the Islamists back and softening them up for a West African force to re-establish government control over the north of Mali, which has been under the rule of Al-Qaeda-linked groups since April 2012.
"The important word now is 'Africanisation', which means the rapid deployment of an African force. The situation calls for that and it is up to the Africans to restore Mali's integrity," the official said.
For that to happen, the French believe the Islamists will have to be driven out of the principle towns in the north: Kidal, Timbuktu and Gao, which was the target of intensive bombing by French fighter jets on Sunday.
If they kick the can down the road for an African force ... there is NO WAY they will ever get the mujahideen out of that desert. If the FFL doesn't stay and get the job done, it's game over for eradicating this threat. And yes, the Islamists do have SAM's from Libya.
Ref the Hildebeast's testimony yesterday indicating she did not have live feeds from the Benghazi UAV; if not why not? The feeds reside on the cloud. All you need is the appropriate classified computer and the UAL. Failing that, the feeds can be e-mailed to you in "near-real-time".... which is the term used by State Department Employee Ms. Charlene Lamb to describe what she and unnamed others were watching on 9/11.
[An Nahar] Attackers beheaded five people after storming into their homes on Wednesday in the Nigerian city of Maiduguri, the base of an insurgency by Islamist krazed killer group Boko Haram ... not to be confused with Procol Harum, Harum Scarum, possibly to be confused with Helter Skelter. The Nigerian version of al-Qaeda and the Taliban rolled together and flavored with a smigeon of distinctly Subsaharan ignorance and brutality... , residents said.
"I saw the five decapitated bodies before they were taken away by soldiers from the (military task force)," one resident told AFP of the attack in the northeastern city.
A military front man said in a statement that three people were killed by suspected gunnies, but the army often underplays casualty figures and details of attacks amid heavy pressure to show progress in the fight against Boko Haram.
Several residents spoke of the beheadings, saying the attackers arrived at around 3:00 am, first killing a man and his son in one house, then two other residents in a second house, followed by the fifth victim in a third house.
Residents said the fifth victim was a fisheries official in the ministry of agriculture.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.
The military said it had "cordoned off the area, tossed in the clink Youse'll never take me alive coppers!... [BANG!]... Ow!... I quit! three suspects and recovered one assault rifle with 10 rounds of ammunition."
"Two gunniesbit the dust and a soldier was maimed during an exchange of fire," it said. "The suspects are in (military) custody and efforts are on to apprehend the fleeing members of the gang."
Posted by: Fred ||
01/24/2013 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Boko Haram
[ORLANDOSENTINEL] Gunmen killed 23 people in northern Nigeria in attacks that appeared to target gamblers and people selling 'forbidden' meat that Islamist bully boyz disapprove of, officials and locals said on Tuesday.
In the deadliest attack, late on Monday, gunniesshot up a market in the town of Damboa, targeting local hunters who sell bush meat from animals such as monkeys and pigs, which strict Moslems are forbidden to eat, a local official said.
"Gunmen suspected to be members of BH (Islamist sect Boko Haram ... not to be confused with Procol Harum, Harum Scarum, possibly to be confused with Helter Skelter. The Nigerian version of al-Qaeda and the Taliban rolled together and flavored with a smigeon of distinctly Subsaharan ignorance and brutality... ) came to the town market and rubbed out 13 local hunters on the spot while five others died from their injuries at the hospital," Alhaji Abba Ahmed said. "They came to the market in a Volkswagen Golf car, carried out the operation and left."
In a separate attack in the north's biggest city of Kano, some 500 km (310 miles) west of Damboa, on Tuesday, suspected Boko Haram members riding on cycle of violences rubbed out five people playing an outdoor board game, witnesses and a hospital source who received the bodies said. Two others were maimed.
Damboa is in the remote northeast, the sect's heartland near the borders with Niger, Cameroon and Chad.
Posted by: Fred ||
01/24/2013 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Boko Haram
SANAA, Yemen: Yemeni officials say a U.S. drone strike on a car outside the capital of Sanaa has killed at least seven suspected al-Qaida militants.
The officials say the drone attack took place Wednesday near the town of Khwlan, some 35 kilometers (20 miles) southeast of the capital. Military officials and tribal witnesses say the car was destroyed, and burnt bodies could be seen inside the wreckage.
Also, the Interior Ministry raised the death toll from a drone strike on Tuesday from three suspected militants to five.
Posted by: Steve White ||
01/24/2013 00:00 ||
Top|| File under:
Seven German soldiers were attacked Tuesday in the southern Turkish province of Hatay by a group of activists who oppose the deployment of Patriot missile system in the country, local newspaper Today's Zaman reported on its website.
The seven German soldiers are in Iskenderun town of Hatay as part of the NATO mission for deploying the missile system on the Turkish-Syrian border.
The soldiers were besieged on their way to a bazaar in the center of Iskenderun by 26 activists from the Turkey Youth Union ( TGB), who tried to throw sacks on their heads, said the report.
The soldiers escaped from the attackers with the help of local people and were not hurt, said the report, adding that they took shelter in a jewelry shop.
After police arrived at the scene, the soldiers were taken to their hotel by security forces.
The group of activists continued their protest and chanted various slogans.
"We will not allow Turkey to be the center for attacks in the Middle East. We will not allow American and NATO soldiers to travel freely in this country," the head of the group said.
"Whether it was German or American soldiers whose heads we put sacks on, it does not matter. All of them are NATO soldiers," he said.
After a brief scuffle with the group, Turkish riot police detained the 15 activists, including TGB leader Ilker Yucel.
[Dawn] Twelve men, including a senior doctor and a CID inspector, were bumped off in the city in several acts of assassination on Tuesday, police said.
The doctor and the CID inspector were targeted within the jurisdiction of the New Bloody Karachi ...formerly the capital of Pakistain, now merely its most important port and financial center. It is among the largest cities in the world, with a population of 18 million, most of whom hate each other and many of whom are armed and dangerous... cop shoppe.
They said that the medical superintendent of the Sindh Government Hospital New Bloody Karachi was rubbed out in a New Bloody Karachi locality on Tuesday evening.
Assailants riding a cycle of violence sprayed a Suzuki Pothohar jeep, bearing government registration plate, near Power House Chowrangi within the remit of the New Bloody Karachicop shoppe, the police said.
"The jeep was being driven by Dr Syed Hasan Alam, 50, the MS of the Sindh Government Hospital, New Bloody Karachi," said New Bloody Karachi SP Syed Salman Hussian.
"Dr Alam was heading home after attending his private clinic in Sanobar Cottages in North Bloody Karachi when he was targeted."
He said that it was apparently a sectarian killing case and the slain doctor was a Shia.
The doctor suffered multiple gunshot wounds in the head and the chest causing his instant death, the police said.
The body was shifted to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital for medico-legal formalities.
A front man for the Majlis Wahdat-e-Mohammedaneen (MWM) strongly condemned the killing.
He said that Dr Alam's killing was the second sectarian killing incident on Tuesday.
The president of the Pakistain Medical Association, Dr Samrina Hashmi, also condemned the killing.
CID inspector bumped off
A police inspector, who until recently worked with the CID, was rubbed out in a New Bloody Karachi locality on Tuesday evening, police said.
They said that assailants riding a cycle of violence opened fire on Inspector Alamgir Ahmed, 42, when he was walking towards his car near Masjir Siddiq-e-Akbar.
New Bloody Karachi SP Syed Salman Hussain said that the victim had come to see someone at a shop located adjacent to a fuel station. As he was leaving the place and walking to his car, the assailants intercepted him, shot in the head and rode away, he added. He died before he could be taken to hospital.
Until recently, the victim was posted in the CID and a few days back he had been transferred to the Bloody Karachi police, the SP added.
Killing in Baldia
An unidentified young man was rubbed out in Baldia Town on Tuesday evening.
Police said that gunnies targeted the young man when he was going somewhere on a cycle of violence near Mohajir Camp in Baldia Town and escaped. The victim suffered fatal gunshot wounds and died on the scene.
The body was shifted to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital for medico-legal formalities.
Man rubbed out in Gulshan
A man nominated in the murder case of a grandson of the late Nawab Akbar Bugti was bumped off in Gulshan-e-Iqbal on Tuesday.
Police said that gunnies riding a cycle of violence opened fire on the driver of a car in a narrow street near Al-Mustafa Hospital in Gulshan-e-Iqbal. He was struck down in his prime.
The police shifted the body to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre for a post-mortem examination. The victim was later identified as Arif Rajar, who was nominated in the FIR of the killing of Taleh Bugti in a dance party in the Defence area in June 2011. He was out on pre-arrest bail, the police said.
Shopkeeper killed in 'sectarian' attack
A man was rubbed out at his shop in Lyari ...one of the eighteen constituent towns of the city of Karachi. It is the smallest town by area in the city but also the most densely populated. Lyari has few schools, substandard hospitals, a poor water system, limited infrastructure, and broken roads. It is a stronghold of ruling Pakistan Peoples Party. Ubiquitous gang activity and a thriving narcotics industry make Lyari one of the most disturbed places in Karachi, which is really saying a lot.... on Tuesday night, police said.
They said that gunnies came to a mobile phone accessories and top-up shop in Khadda Market within the remit of the Storied Baghdad ...located along the Tigris River, founded in the 8th century, home of the Abbasid Caliphate... i cop shoppe, fired at shopkeeper Habib Ali, 55, and escaped. The victim was taken to the Civil Hospital Bloody Karachi where he was pronounced dead. He's dead, Jim! The police were not immediately sure about the motive for the killing.
However, corruption finds a dozen alibis for its evil deeds... a front man for the MWM said that the killing had a sectarian motive as the victim was a Shia.
Youth killed in Gulbahar
A young man was rubbed out in Gulbahar on Tuesday.
Police said that assailants riding on a cycle of violence came close to a general store within the remit of the Rizvia cop shoppe, fired at Shahzad Hussain, 22, who was sitting on the pavement and rode away.
The victim was taken to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital where he was pronounced dead. He's dead, Jim! on arrival.
The police were not sure about the motive for the killing.
Man rubbed out in Orangi
A middle-aged man was rubbed out in Orangi Town in the early hours of Tuesday.
Police said that Mohammad Jameel, 50, was targeted by armed motorcyclists in the Khairabad area of Orangi Town at about 3am.
The victim was taken to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital where he died during treatment.
The police said that it was not immediately clear whether the victim was affiliated with any political or religious party.
Killed in Malir
A man was rubbed out in a Malir locality in the early hours of Tuesday.
Police said that that incident took place in Khokhrapar where motorcyclist targeted Nadeem Waqar, 45.
He was taken to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre where he was pronounced dead. He's dead, Jim! on arrival.
The police were not sure about the motive for the murder.
Man rubbed out
A man was rubbed out on Hawkesbay Road within the remit of the Mauripur cop shoppe in the early hours of Tuesday.
Police shifted the body to the Civil Hospital Bloody Karachi, where the victim was identified as Syed Saleem Ahmed. An identity card showing him as a constable of the excise police was found in his possession. He was a resident of Korangi C Area.
However, corruption finds a dozen alibis for its evil deeds... a senior officer of the excise and taxation department said that the victim did not belong to the department and the card recovered from him could be fake.
Three found rubbed out
Bullet-riddled bodies of three unidentified young men were found in Baldia Town and Lyari on Tuesday morning.
Police said that two of the three bodies were found in Baldia Town No 2 within the remit of the SITE-B cop shoppe.
The head of one of the victims had been separated from the body and was found across the road, said SITE SP Ali Asif.
The bodies were shifted to the Civil Hospital Bloody Karachi for medico-legal formalities. Both bodies sustained multiple gunshot wounds.
Another body of an unidentified man, stuffed in a gunny bag, was found in a garbage dump in Lyari within the remit of the Napier cop shoppe early on Tuesday morning.
The victim had been subjected to severe torture and then killed by firing. He appeared to be in his early-thirties.
Three bumped off in violent acts
A constable of the excise police, a middle-aged man and a pick-up driver were rubbed out in different city areas late on Monday night.
Police said that gunnies walked towards Shahid Brohi, who was on a cycle of violence and stuck in a traffic jam in front of the Good Luck marriage hall in the Old Golimar area, shot him in the head and escaped. He was a constable in the excise police and posted in the west zone.
In the Defence area, assailants riding a cycle of violence opened fire on a car driven by Abdul Wahid Qureshi, 55, within the remit of the Defence cop shoppe.
The maimed victim drove the car towards the Defence cop shoppe where he hit a pushcart. The police shifted him to the JPMC where he died during treatment. He was a resident of DHA Phase II.
In the Liaquatabad area, a pick-up driver, Farhan Akhtar, 25, was rubbed out near Erum Bakery late on Monday night.
The victim was a resident of Lasbela, the police said.
[Dawn] Two improvised bomb blasts on Tuesday destroyed two buses of a private school in Chota Lahor tehsil here.
However, corruption finds a dozen alibis for its evil deeds... no damage to human life was reported as the buses had no one on them at the time of the blasts.
Police said two IEDs were planted inside the buses, which were parked by drivers outside Quaid International Model School on Swabi-Jahangira Road after dropping students at the educational institution.
Mazhar Khan, owner and principal of the school, said bombs went off one after another creating panic among students and teachers inside the school. He said at the time of the kabooms, drivers of the two buses were sitting in another bus waiting for the closing time of the school.
The owner said the administration had received threats over the telephone from gunnies of Miranshah ... headquarters of al-Qaeda in Pakistain and likely location of Ayman al-Zawahiri. The Haqqani network has established a ministate in centered on the town with courts, tax offices and lots of madrassas... in North Wazoo Agency that the school would be targeted by them.
He said it was the fourth time that different branches of the school were targeted by thugs.
According to him, the first incident occurred on Sept 13 last year followed by a kaboom a month. The school's branch in Panjpir area was targeted on Nov 3 last year.
Chota Lahor city police registered an FIR against unidentified gunnies at the complaint of the school's owner.
When contacted, Abdul Rashid, superintendent of police, said police had begun an operation to arrest the culprits.
He said security had been heightened across the district to counter terrorism.
Also in the day, the SP transferred SHO Ayaz from Kalo Khan cop shoppe to Chota Lahor cop shoppe and SHO Taj Malook from Topi cop shoppe to Kalo Khan cop shoppe, while ASI Nayaz Gul Khan had been given the additional charge of SHO until further orders.
In Takwari Khula area of Tank, two former peace committee volunteers were found dead on Tuesday.
Police identified the two as Haqi Jan and his friend Din Mohammad.
Mr Haqi's uncle Mirza Ali told police that his nephew left house in Shah Noor Kallay area along with friend Din Mohammad Bittni of Wardaki early in the morning for work and that he was informed by locals at around 10am about their bodies lying by Kari Haider Road near Takwari Khula area.
[Dawn] Militants on Wednesday dumped the mutilated body of a purported Afghan spy accused of collaborating on US drone strikes that killed prominent warlord Mullah Nazir in South Wazoo this month, officials said.
The body of the man identified as Asmatullah Kharoti was found in Wana, the main town of the South Waziristan tribal district, which borders Afghanistan.
Local officials said he had been rubbed out and there were wounds on his neck.
Two notes on the body ordered the remains to be left on the roadside until 10:00 am "so that everyone could see the fate of spies", and the second accusing him of being a spy and being responsible for US drone attacks.
"He is a spy and was giving information to US and Isaf forces in Afghanistan about our activities," a local official quoted the note as saying.
"He is responsible for the killing of five of our senior members, including Mullah Nazir, in drone attacks. He confessed that he installed chips in digital Korans," the note added.
Nazir was killed in a US drone strike on Jan 2. He was the main bad turban commander in South Waziristan and was known to be 'pro-Pakistain', focusing his attacks across the border to fight US, NATO ...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. A cautionary tale of cost-benefit analysis.... and Afghan government troops in Afghanistan, and was accused of sheltering Al Qaeda.
Posted by: Fred ||
01/24/2013 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: al-Qaeda in Pakistan
If true, that's an intelligence failure. The CIA should have brought him in from the cold before he was exposed.
[An Nahar] A jacket wallah made his way into a Shiite mosque north of Storied Baghdad ...located along the Tigris River, founded in the 8th century, home of the Abbasid Caliphate... and went kaboom! in the middle of a packed funeral on Wednesday, killing 42 people and leaving corpses scattered across the floor.
The attack, the deadliest in six months, is likely to heighten tensions as Iraq grapples with a political crisis and more than a month of protests in Sunni-majority areas that have hardened opposition to Shiite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.
No group grabbed credit, but Sunni gun-hung tough guys often launch attacks in a bid to destabilize the government and push Iraq back towards the sectarian violence that blighted it from 2005 to 2008.
The bomber struck at the Sayid al-Shuhada mosque in Tuz Khurmatu, 175 kilometers (110 miles) north of Storied Baghdad, and targeted the funeral of a relative of a politician who was rubbed out a day earlier.
"Corpses are on the ground of the Husseiniyah (Shiite mosque)," said Shallal Abdul, mayor of Tuz Khurmatu. "The suicide bomber managed to enter and blow himself up in the middle of the mourners."
Niyazi Moamer Oghlu, secretary general of the provincial council of Salaheddin, which surrounds Tuz Khurmatu, put the toll from the attack at 42 dead and 75 maimed.
Among those hurt were officials and tribal leaders, including Ali Hashem Oghlu, the deputy chief of the Iraqi Turkman Front and a provincial councilor in Salaheddin.
The funeral had been for Oghlu's brother-in-law, who killed in Tuz on Tuesday.
Tuz Khurmatu lies in a tract of disputed territory that Kurdistan wants to incorporate into its autonomous three-province region against the wishes of the central government in Storied Baghdad.
The row is regarded by diplomats and officials as the greatest long-term threat to Iraq's stability.
The corpse count from Wednesday's blast was the highest from a single attack since a series of bombings north of Storied Baghdad on July 23 killed 42 people.
Also on Wednesday, gunnies killed a school principal near the main northern city of djinn-infested Mosul and an anti-Qaeda militiaman was rubbed out near the predominantly Sunni town of Fallujah.
Wednesday's violence came after a wave of attacks on Tuesday killed 26 people and maimed dozens more.
That broke four days of relative calm following a spate of incidents claimed by al-Qaeda's front group that killed at least 88 people on January 15-17, according to an AFP tally.
Posted by: Fred ||
01/24/2013 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: al-Qaeda in Iraq
Thai terrorists insurgents gunned down a teacher in front of dozens of children in a school cafeteria on Wednesday, in the latest deadly attack on an education worker.
Cholathee Charoenchol was shot in the head at Tanyong School in Bacho district in Narathiwat province as at least 30 pupils and several teachers watched, according to officials.
Police said two terrorists insurgents parked their motorcycle in front of the school cafeteria and walked into the building, where one of them shot Cholathee with a pistol.
Local police chief Colonel Pakdi Preechachon said, "There were between 30 and 40 students in the cafeteria when he was shot."
He was the 158th school employee killed during a nine-year-old insurgency that has gripped Thailand's far south.
Thousands of schools closed temporarily in December in protest over a lack of security for teachers, who are targeted by the terrorists militants for their collaboration with the Thai state. They reopened after the government promised to increase security.
Army spokesman Colonel Pramote Promin said a lack of cooperation from Muslim villagers is making it hard to protect teachers "no matter how strict security measures are".
He said, "This school is situated in an area where 100 percent of the villagers and all of teachers and students are Muslims."
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.