Updated at 1:09 p.m. EDT, April 6, 2010
Baghdad was again the target of a massive, coordinated bomb attack just a couple days after a similar attack struck the capital’s foreign embassies. This attack was more personal as it focused on apartment buildings in predominantly Shi’ite neighborhoods across the city. Overall, at least 59 Iraqis were killed and 196 more were wounded across the country. White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs said that the surge in violence would not impede the scheduled U.S. drawdawn. Also, the Turkish military shelled a border area in Iraq for the third time this week.
Preliminary bribery charges were filed against a French oil company for its role in the U.N. oil-for-food program. Similar charges of complicity and influence peddling could also be filed against Total SA in the Paris courts. Preliminary charges mean the judge has given the magistrate more time to investigate a suspected crime.
The Iraqi Journalists’ Syndicate is demanding an investigation into the deaths of two Iraqi journalists killed during an operation involving a U.S. helicopter. Yesterday, a classified video of the shooting was leaked to the media. The family of one journalist spoke after seeing the video.
Ayad Allawi, whose Iraqiya party won the most seats in last month’s elections and is fighting Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki for the premiership, said the impasse in forming the new government could drag on for months, as discussions toward that end have not even begun.
In Baghdad, a series of bomb attacks targeting apartment buildings left 54 dead and 187 wounded in al-Shula, Jakook, Allawi, al-Shurta al-Khamisa, Illam, and al-Amil neighborhoods this morning. One of the attacks may have involved a suicide bomber. Maj. Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi of Baghdad Operations Command blamed al-Qaeda for the series of attacks against apartment buildings in Baghdad today, while an Iraqi National Alliance politician also held the Ba’ath Party and the United States accountable. Allawi faulted Maliki for the state of security in Baghdad. Eleven suspects were arrested in connection with the blasts.
Also in the capital, a sticky bomb in al-Shula wounded three people. In Yarmouk, gunmen wounded an Interior Ministry official. No casualties were reported after a car bomb in Saidiya. Bombs near a liquor store and in Adhamiya last night left no casualties.
A sticky bomb in Baquba killed one person and wounded three others.
A civilian was wounded in a small arms attack in Mussayab.
A 14-year-old wearing a suicide vest was arrested in Habaniya.
In Amiriya, two bombers were detained.
Nine suspects were arrested in Basra, were police also defused to roadside bombs and seized ten mortar rounds.
Two Iranian-made bombs were found in Amara.
Eleven people were arrested trying to cross the Syrian border into Iraq illegally. They were carrying arms and cell phones. Most people arrested at the border are Iraqi citizens but the nationalities of today’s group were not revealed.