A deadly blast shattered an otherwise quiet day in Iraq, where at least 27 Iraqis were killed and 76 more were wounded, almost all of them in Balad Ruz. To the south a possibly accidental chlorine gas explosion brought back memories of the chlorine attacks that marked the height of the sectarian violence several years ago. In better news, a successful trade in Kirkuk liberated two Kurdish women who were kidnapped a day earlier.
At least 25 Iraqis were killed and 75 more were wounded during a suicide blast at a Balad Ruz coffee shop that is located in a predominantly Feyli Kurd neighborhood. In Mosul, a body belonging to the owner of an exchange office was found strangled.
In Baghdad, gunmen killed a government employee and wounded his young nephew. A bomb was defused in Tunis.
In Kirkuk, two Kurdish women who were kidnapped from their father’s house yesterday were released today in exchange for five females detainees. Their father said that the two had suffered mental anguish and one was injured when she was smacked in the head with a rifle butt. It is thought that had the deal failed, significant clashes could have taken place between Sunnis and Kurds.
A chlorine gas explosion at a water purification plant in Amara sickened over 200 people. The source of the blast was unknown, but authorities do not believe it was part of an attack. A similar occurrence took place in Diyala province last week.
Tariq Aziz and 25 other prisoners are on a hunger strike over being denied their monthly visit from friends and relatives.