(antiwar.com) At least 22 Iraqis were killed and 27 more were wounded in a bombing and several targeted assassinations. Also, a U.S. soldier was killed during operations yesterday, making April the deadliest month for American troops November 2009. Meanwhile, parliament approved $400 million to compensate Americans used as human shields during the 1990-91 Gulf War.
In Mosul, a suicide bomber killed eight people and wounded 20 others at an entry checkpoint to a market.
A judge and two relatives were killed and two more relatives were wounded during a bomb attack in Taji. Earlier the gunmen killed the judge’s bodyguard at a nearby home.
In Baghdad, gunmen killed a colonel and wounded his wife, and perhaps also wounded his children, as they were driving on a highway; the colonel’s car theninjured two policemen when it crashed into a checkpoint. Uniformed men killed a Sahwa member and three relatives in Kadhimiya; one gunman also died.
No casualties were reported after a Katyusha rocket fell on a U.S. base nearDiwaniya.
(rsf.org) Reporters Without Borders is pleased to learn that Murtadha Al-Shahtur, the police spokesman in the governorate Dhi Qar and a contributor to the local newspaper Al-Zaman and other newspapers and websites, was released on the evening of 4 April, a day after being arrested in Dhi Qar’s capital, Nasariyah, by members of the Baghdad government’s special forces. Read More
Earlier: There are wounded persons and dead bodies in the streets that no one can get to because of the central security forces (CSF) are shooting live rounds. Tanks moved in earlier today and CSF had new large weapons that residents hadn’t seen before. One person identified them as anti-aircraft machine guns and said they were strafing residential homes. Snipers were positioned on the roofs and remain there. Ambulances are blocked. There is an urgent need for blood and medicine. Heavy gunfire is ongoing. Dozens are wounded. Seventeen fatalities were counted as follows, but the evenings death toll will likely rise. The lights are off.
This video was shot in front of the Aden Hotel in Khormakser, Aden as people ran from the gunfire:
This video shows one of the many peaceful protests around Aden today where police opened fire:
Dead are as follows:
7 dead in Al-Areesh
4 dead in Khormakser
2 confirmed + unconfirmed # in Malla
1 dead in Tawahi
2 dead in Mansoura
1 Dead in Salahudin.
The state allowed live coverage of the student’s protests in Sana’a, but barred journalists from Aden. President Saleh made an announcement yesterday ordering police to protect protesters that received a lot of coverage. Twitter is down. Below the fold Human Rights Watch verified one death in Muallah when police shot into the crowd as they were chanting “peaceful peaceful” earlier. HRW is identifying the new weapon as a “military assault weapon.” Their report ends at 10 pm Aden time, which was five hours ago. Its 3 am there now, and there’s still shooting.”
Al Tagheer (ar) listed 19 killed and 124 injured in the prior week in Aden alone. Read more…
(AlJazeera) Three people killed in clashes with security forces as protesters break into public offices and set buildings on fire.
Three people have been killed and dozens wounded in clashes between security forces and protesters in a southern Iraqi province, after around 2,000 people attacked government offices in protest over poor services.
Protesters took threw rocks and took over a provincial council building in Kut in Wasit province, about 160km southeast of Baghdad, on Wednesday. Three government buildings were set on fire, including the governor’s official residence.
A police source in Kut said three protesters were killed in clashes and about 30 wounded, including 15 policemen. A hospital source said one of the dead was a 16-year-old boy who suffered a bullet to the chest.
Officials said policemen and soldiers fired their weapons into the air in a bid to dissuade protesters, while private security guards employed by Wasit council opened fire directly into the crowd.
“Those were private guards, only they fired at the protesters. They were outside the law,” police Brigadier General Hussein Jassim told AFP. “Our forces only fired into the air.”
Major Mohammed Saleh, the senior police intelligence officer in Kut, said: “Measures will be taken against the private guards but after the situation has calmed down.”
Demonstrators are demanding Latif Hamad al-Tarfa, the provincial governor, resign over poor basic services such as electricity and water.
They held up placards that said, “To all citizens: Electricity is only for officials”, a reference to Iraq’s dramatic shortfall in power provision.
“We demand that our rights be met, that we have better services and that the authorities fight corruption,” Ali Mohsen, a 54-year-old professor at Wasit university, said.
“We demand that the governor resign … all we need is services.”
An official told Al Jazeera that protesters were enraged by comments by al-Tarfa belittling demonstrators at a much smaller protest a week ago.
(antiwar.com) Lawyers Union Organizes Call to Sack Judges, Investigate Secret Prisons
Officials have been downplaying the prospect of such protests in Iraq, but it seems that the Tunisia-Egypt bug has spread to Baghdad, where some 3,000 people marched through a Sunni neighborhood protesting against the corruption and incompetence of the Maliki government.
The protests, which were organized by an Iraqi lawyers’ union, included calls for the government to sack judgesand for a full investigation into the human rights NGOs’ reports of secret prisons in the nation.
Iraq has, of course, denied the reports about the secret prisons, and insisted that the Red Cross knew about the facility and had visited it. The Red Cross confirmed knowing about it, but insisted they weren’t allowed to visit because the officials didn’t want them questioning the detainees about treatment.
Reports suggest that today’s protests were entirely peaceful, and that smaller protests had been held in Basra and Mosul. Officials have insisted Iraq is a very different situation from those in Tunisia and Egypt, but of course such claims have been made in other nations as protests have grown.
by Jason Ditz, February 10, 2011