Through Friday, Iraq Body Count counts 810 violent deaths in Iraq so far this month. National Iraqi News Agency reports that Sheikh Musa al-Halbusi of the Karmeh Grand Mosque was shot dead in Karmeh, a Baghdad bombing left seven people injured, a Baquba bombing claimed 1 life and left another person injured, a Yathrib bombing claimed 2 lives, a Sadr City shooting left eight people injured, an armed attack on a Mosul checkpoint left 2 police officers dead, in an Anbar operation early this morning Iraqi forces shot dead 4 suspects, and, late last night, a Ba’aj home invasion left the wife of a police officer stabbed to death. Alsumaria adds that a roadside bombing in a village outside Baquba left 1 farmer dead,a Baghdad roadside bombing claimed the life of 1 police officer, and a Baquba mortar attack claimed 1 life. That’s 14 reported deaths and sixteen injured.
The Washington Post editorial board notes, “Iraq’s renewed conflict gained attention this week because of the spectacular attack by al-Qaeda on two prison facilities, including the Abu Ghraib facility near Baghdad. The coordinated assault led to the escape of hundreds of security prisoners, including a number of top al-Qaeda leaders.” The editorial board of the Bangkok Post observes, “To put things into perspective, it is universally accepted today that when the US-led invasion of Iraq was mounted in March 2003, al-Qaeda was a non-entity in the country, even though it was falsely… ” Yesterday, one escapee was captured in an eastern Baghdad mosque. KUNA reports, “Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki on Saturday fired director of the prison service and referred senior security officers investigations against the backdrop of the mass prisoner breakout.” NINA explains, “He listened to the report and statements by a number of the prisons’ officers, he ordered the arrest of the officers, who primary report shows that they were negligent in their duty. Ordered that the report be referred to justice. They are: Commander of Federal Police Fourth Division, Commander of Federal Police Regiment charged with the Prison’s security and his Deputy, as well as on duty Federal Police personnel. Maliki also ordered firing Director General of Prisons and refer him to justice.” All Iraq News also notes, “The Prime Minister ordered to detain several officers on the bases of their neglect for their duty including the Chief of Staff of the Iraqi Army Fourth Division, the Commander of the Federal Police Regiment along with his assistances, the intelligence elements, Federal police elements who were inside the prison during the jailbreak time.”
Mohammad Sabah (Al Mada) notes that Parliament’s Security and Defense Committee is hearing conflicting accounts on the Abu Ghraib and Taji prison attacks and prison breaks. Conflicting accounts from whom? The Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Justice. The Committee could not establish how many escaped from Abu Ghraib but notes that it was at least 900 (they established 120 prisoners died attempting to escape from Taji). NINA adds that Nouri chaired a meeting on the prison incidents and heard from mebers of the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Justice. Al-Shorfa informs, “Iraq’s Interior Ministry on Saturday (July 27th) said it started a large series of security improvements around the country’s main federal prisons, especially those where terrorist elements are jailed. “
The lack of public services continue to cause tensions in Iraq. Alsumaria reports that the Minister of Electricity Karim Aftan al-Jumaili testified before Parliament about the electricity. Deputy Prime Minister of Energy Hussain al-Shahristani is supposed to testify before the Parliament tomorrow; however, NINA reports he is insisting he will not appear and stating he received no official summons to appear. All Iraq News notes, “MP, Sameera al-Mousawi, of the State of Law Coalition stressed the necessity of the attendance of the Premier, Nouri al-Maliki, in the parliament session that will have the investigation of the Deputy Premier, Hussein al-Shihristani, over the electric crisis in Iraq.”
And NCRI issues a statement which opens:
Millions of Iraqis have staged protests across the country against prime minister Nouri al-Maliki’s ‘paramilitary’ government which funds the Iranian regime while suppressing its own people.
Demonstrators endured soaring temperatures during the fasting month of Ramadan to brand Maliki a ‘liar’ and demand his resignation.
A spokesperson for protesters in the city of Ramadi said: “In Maliki’s government, which cares nothing for its people, billions of dollars of the Iraqi people is sent into the coffers of the Iranian regime, while hunger kills the people of Iraq.”
Samera protesters spokesman Dr Najeh al-Mizan said: “Today, all the speakers in the demonstrations have emphasized that this government is a government of paramilitaries. Steps must be taken to ensure our safety in six provinces.
“We announce that the Government of Maliki is one of the provinces affiliated to the Iranian regime, where the Supreme Leader rules. The Supreme Leader is that same person who supports the Asaeb al-Haq and the paramilitaries. He is the one controlling all the paramilitaries.”
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