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 Iraq to step up security after wave of bombings.

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The Evil Green Pickle
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СообщениеТема: Iraq to step up security after wave of bombings.   Пт Авг 21, 2009 7:22 am

BAGHDAD – The Iraqi government decided to increase security at checkpoints near government buildings and markets and keep concrete blast barriers around potential targets after a wave of deadly bombings struck Baghdad, government officials said Thursday.

The officials said the move was agreed in a meeting late Wednesday between Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and security chiefs. It reverses a decision by the Iraqi military to remove all blast walls from the city by mid-September.

Bombs struck a restaurant in Baghdad and a bus and a market south of the capital on Thursday, killing at least seven people while fear and anger spread following the deadly bombing spree the day before that killed at least 101.

The bloodshed has dealt a devastating blow to public confidence in the Iraqi government and prompted al-Maliki to admit security failures for the first time — a sharp reversal of his campaign to project a sense of normalcy ahead of January's parliamentary elections.

He said the attacks were designed to foil plans to reopen streets and remove concrete walls from Baghdad's main roads by mid-September, an effort aimed at unblocking traffic congestion caused by the ubiquitous barriers.

Funeral processions began early Thursday for the victims of the bombings, with families carrying coffins draped in black through the streets. Dozens of people waited in lines outside the city's central morgue with empty coffins, as coroners worked to identify the bodies.

The uptick in violence has raised fears about the readiness of Iraqi forces to provide security less than two months after the June 30 withdrawal of U.S. troops from cities. The government's acknowledgment of the problems reflected intensifying concern.

Al-Maliki convened an emergency meeting late Wednesday with senior security and military officials to discuss "rapid measures to achieve security and stability" in Baghdad and surrounding areas, to prevent insurgents from rekindling violence ahead of next year's elections, his office said in a statement.

It did not elaborate, but two government officials said the decision was made to keep the blast walls around markets and other vital areas in Baghdad and to set up mobile checkpoints to enhance searching and observation abilities. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to release the information.

Maj. Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi, the chief Iraqi military spokesman in Baghdad, also said 11 police and army commanders overseeing security, traffic and intelligence services in the targeted areas have been detained on suspicion of negligence.

But the pronouncements did little to reassure ordinary Iraqis who were stunned by the scope of Wednesday's bombings.

Hussein Alawy, a 32-year-owner of a convenience store near the bombed Foreign Ministry, said he stayed home on Thursday for fear of more bombings and called on the government to change its mind on the blast walls.

"My family forbade me from going outside, fearing more possible explosions. Everybody is worried security will deteriorate further in the coming days," he said. "We demand the government stop lifting the blast barriers because they were providing us with some kind of safety."

Truck bombs tore through the foreign and finance ministries in the heart of Baghdad, the deadliest in a wave of explosions that killed at least 101 people and wounded more than 500, according to police and hospital officials.

The Foreign Ministry called the attack part of an organized campaign against government agencies.

"Such terrorist attacks aim to undermine the political process and paralyze the Iraqi government," the ministry said in a statement released Thursday.

Al-Maliki blamed an alliance of al-Qaida in Iraq and Saddam Hussein loyalists who belonged to the ousted Baath Party. The U.S. military agreed the blasts bore the hallmarks of al-Qaida in Iraq.

Many Iraqis, however, accused officials of giving the insurgents free rein by creating an atmosphere of political paralysis and failing to properly prepare Iraqi security forces.

"The Iraqi people are paying the price of the power struggle among political groups," said Sarmad Ahmed, 35, a building contractor from Baghdad's former Sunni insurgent stronghold of Azamiyah. "The government and security officials should do something real to protect the people instead of accusing the Baathists or insurgents without any proof or real investigation."

The violence continued Thursday.

A bicycle bomb exploded near a restaurant in Baghdad, killing two people and wounding 18, according to al-Moussawi's office. South of Baghdad, a bomb attached to a passenger bus killed two and wounded eight in Hillah, while another bomb killed at least three people and wounded 14 at a market in the nearby town of Mahaweel.

U.S. troops withdrew from Iraq's cities June 30 under a security pact that outlines the American withdrawal from the country by the end of 2011. President Barack Obama has ordered all U.S. combat troops out of Iraq by Aug. 31, 2010, leaving up to 50,000 U.S. troops in training and advising roles.

In northern Iraq, where some of the worst attacks in recent weeks have been carried out, Kurdish regional President Massoud Barzani opened a new session of parliament Thursday by condemning the Baghdad attacks.

U.S. officials have said tensions between Iraqi Arabs and Kurds pose one of the greatest threats to Iraq's stability. The Kurds have been locked in a bitter dispute with Baghdad over control of oil and territory, including the disputed city of Kirkuk.

Ali al-Dabbagh, the Iraqi government spokesman, expressed hope that the resignation Thursday of one of Iraq's two deputy prime ministers to join the self-ruled Kurdish regional government would ease tensions.

Barham Saleh, a Kurd, has been al-Maliki's point man on economic and oil issues but was expected to leave the post following Kurdish elections last month.

___

Associated Press Writers Sameer N. Yacoub in Baghdad and Yahya Barzanji in Irbil contributed to this report.
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The Evil Green Pickle
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СообщениеТема: Re: Iraq to step up security after wave of bombings.   Пт Авг 21, 2009 7:26 am

I don't think steping up security will matter. It is easy for the enemy to blow up whatever they want to. Especialy if they are so determined (or crazy) enough to blow themselves up to.
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The Evil Green Pickle
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СообщениеТема: Re: Iraq to step up security after wave of bombings.   Пт Авг 21, 2009 10:13 am

Hey, the Wahnsinniger just posted this on my account accidently. So, just say this was from the Wahnsinniger.
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Igor
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СообщениеТема: Re: Iraq to step up security after wave of bombings.   Сб Авг 22, 2009 2:10 am

America should focus on making Iraq's military stronger. It is the only way this war can be won, by the Iraqis. The same with Afghanistan.
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СообщениеТема: Re: Iraq to step up security after wave of bombings.   Сб Авг 22, 2009 2:10 am

Da.
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