CELEBRITY IN CHIEF BARRY O HAS FOUND A CLIMATE MATE: CHINA.
REACHED FOR COMMENT BY THESE REPORTERS, BARRY O TOLD THESE REPORTERS, "NO ONE SHOULD BE SURPRISED BY THIS. CHINA IS ME, 35 YEARS AGO. CHINA COULD HAVE BEEN MY BROTHER."
AT THIS MOMENT, WHITE HOUSE SPOKESMODEL JAY CARNEY RUSHED INTO THE ROOM, MUMBLED SOMETHING ABOUT BARRY O BEING "VERY TIRED" ANDHUSTLED HIM OUT OF THE ROOM.
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
Good for US State Dept spokesperson Marie Harf who did something unheard of today.
Happy Friday. Welcome to the daily briefing. I have something to read at the top, and then happy to open it up to your questions. The United States condemns in the strongest terms the terrorist bombing inside a mosque today in Diyala province in Iraq. Attacks against innocent people are reprehensible. That this attack occurred in a place of worship and during the Holy Month of Ramadan is especially despicable and cowardly and exposes the nature of those perpetrating these attacks. Our condolences go out to the victims of these attacks and their families.
That is how she opened today's press briefing. This was not in response to a question, that is how she opened. Good for Harf, good for the US State Dept. The Congress is giving them billions for Iraq, they need to be noting the country in some manner regularly.
While the State Dept was front and center on the bombing, Nouri's forces were otherwise occupied.
Iraqi Spring MC reports that Nouri's SWAT forces spent the morning forcing Baquba stores to close. Maybe if they had been focused on doing actual work and not terrorizing shop owners, Iraqi Spring MC wouldn't have been reporting the Abu Bakr Mosque in Diyala's Wajihiya district was bombed? This morning, Reuters counted 20 dead and NINA counted at least 60 injured. It's not as though Nouri's SWAT forces contributed nothing however, Iraqi Spring MC notes that they are preventing concerned Iraqis from making blood donations to help the victims of the bombing.
Yang Lina (Xinhua) reports, "The attack occurred around midday when dozens of worshippers were observing the Friday weekly Muslim prayer at the mosque of Abu Bakr al-Sideeq, in the town of Wajihiyah, northeast of the provincial capital city of Baquba, some 65 km northeast of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, a provincial police source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity." Steve Nolan (Daily Mail) adds, "The blast went off on the left side of the mosque, which was filled with men and children, as worshippers were kneeling during prayers, said 30-year-old Mohammed Faleh, who was praying inside." Mohammed Tawfeeq (CNN) notes, "The bomb had been hidden under a podium from which an imam was speaking in the mosque, located in al-Wajihiya in the largely Sunni province of Diyala, said police officials in the nearby provincial capital of Baquba." KUNA reports there were two bombings -- the one Tawfeeq has noted and a suicide bomber who detonated outside as people were rushing out. BBC News notes a suicide bomber as well as does All Iraq News. So does Mustafa al-Tuwaijri (AFP) who quotes Omar Mundhir (whose leg was injured in the attack) stating, "I was sitting near the main entrance of the mosque when a huge explosion happened. I was sitting near the imam and the mosque was full of dozens of people when a big explosion happened, and the place went completely dark."
Prensa Latina observes, "The explosion took place in Wajihiya city, Diyala province, with a population of Sunni majority, and came after a series of attacks which have taken the lives of 460 people so far this month, according to official figures." Qassim Abdul-Zahra (AP) adds, "AP television footage of the aftermath showed the interior of the mosque near the bomb site charred black and shrapnel damage peppering the walls." AP counts 27 dead. EFE notes that, among the many wounded, "27 are in grave condition."
If only someone had seen Diyala as a hotbed, maybe Nouri's forces could have done an actual job. But alas, no one saw a problem in Diyala . . . Oh, wait. From Wednesday's snapshot:
NINA reports, "Speaker Osama Najafi called for holding a public hearing on Thursday in parliament in order to deter violators and terrorists in Diyala province and easing tensions to overcome the crisis and stop the forced displacement of citizens in a number of areas of the province." Alsumaria adds that the Free Patriotic Movement is joining the call as explained by their leader Massoud Zangana who states that the citizens of Diyala are in need of help.
The hearing was held. At the Parliament's website, they note 236 MPs attended, a number of issues were addressed and, with regards to Diyala Province, they commissioned a group to work on the issue with Nouri's office overseeing the security forces in Diyala Province. That didn't work out well for anyone today.
The US Embassy in Baghdad issued the following:
The United States Condemns Diyala Mosque Bombing
July 19, 2013
The United States condemns in the strongest terms the terrorist bombing inside a mosque today in Diyala province. Attacks against innocent people are reprehensible. That this attack occurred in a place of worship and during the holy month of Ramadan is especially despicable and cowardly and exposes the nature of those perpetrating these attacks. Our condolences go out to the victims of these attacks and their families.
The mosque bombing wasn't Iraq's only violence today. NINA reports a Tikrit bombing left 2 soldiers dead and another injured, a western Baghdad bombing claimed 1 life and left another person injured, a Falluja home invasion left a woman and her two daughters injured, a Falluja motorcycle drive-by left one police officer and one Iraqi citizen injured, a suicide bomber to the south of Mosul blew himself up and left one police officer injured, and a Hilla suicide bomber claimed the life of 1 police officer and left five worshipers en route to the Al Mustafa shrine injured. Alsumaria adds 1 corpse was discovered in Ramadi (gunshot wounds to head and chest). All Iraq News notes that a Mosul suicide bomber left Colonel Ahmed Abbas injured.
Neither the violence nor the holy month has prevented the ongoing protests. Iraqi Spring Media notes protests took place in Baghdad and in Falluja, in Maysan Province, Mosul and in Jalawla. These protests have been ongoing since December 21st.
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