Thursday, May 12, 2005

War News for Thursday, May 12, 2005 Bring 'em on: Twelve killed in car bomb attack in central Baghdad. Bring 'em on: Seventeen killed in car bomb attack in Shia market area in Baghdad. Bring 'em on: Two marines killed and 14 injured in bomb attack near the Syrian border. Bring 'em on: Iraqi army general assassinated in Baghdad. Bring 'em on: Iraqi police colonel assassinated in Baghdad. Bring 'em on: Car bomb kills two in Kirkuk. Bring 'em on: Two Iraqi civilians injured in car bomb attack on US convoy in Baghdad. Bring 'em on: Oil infrastructure attacked in Kirkuk. Bring 'em on: Families flee as attacks on Al Qaim continue. Bring 'em on: Large explosions heard near Japanese base in Samara. Bring 'em on: Two Iraqi soldiers killed in attack in Baghdad. Bring 'em on: Dutch troops involved in firefight in Basra. Bring 'em on: Two killed and twenty injured in explosion in Umm Qasr. A Failed State? The UN is warning that Iraq is becoming a transient country for drug runners. The president of the International Narcotics Control Board says traffickers from Afghanistan have begun using Iraq to get to Jordan, where they send drugs to Europe and Asia. He also says the drug runners work with terrorists and insurgents, which further fuels the fighting in Iraq. The official (Hamid Ghodse) says Iraqi leaders, as well as international officials, need to do something about the matter now before the situation worsens. As he put it, "You cannot have peace, security and development without attending to drug control." Special Report Living in Iraq: Tragic.
The Iraqi people are suffering from a desperate lack of jobs, housing, health care and electricity, according to a survey by Iraqi authorities and the United Nations released on Thursday. Planning Minister Barham Saleh, during a ceremony in Baghdad, blamed the dire living conditions in most of the country on decades of war but also on the shortcomings of the international community. "The survey, in a nutshell, depicts a rather tragic situation of the quality of life in Iraq," Saleh said in English at the event, attended by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan's deputy representative in Iraq, Staffan de Mistura. The 370-page report entitled "Iraq Living Conditions Survey 2004" was conducted over the past year on a representative sample of 22,000 families in all of Iraq's 18 provinces. Eighty-five percent of Iraqi households lacked stable electricity when the survey was carried out. Only 54 percent had access to clean water and 37 percent to sewage. "If you compare this to the situation in the 1980s, you will see a major deterioration of the situation," said the newly-appointed minister, pointing out that 75 percent of households had clean water two decades ago. The report "shows a contrast between the potential of Iraq, with all the human and natural resources that we have, and the unfortunate lack of development and lack of quality of life we are suffering from," Saleh said. The survey put the unemployment figure at 18.4 percent, but Saleh explained that "under-employment" topped the 50-percent mark.
Near neighbour getting concerned: The opposition in Pakistan's Lower House of the Parliament on Thursday called for a full-fledged debate on the volatile situation in Iraq in the House. On behalf of the combined opposition, lawmaker Mahmood Khan Achakzai, on a point of order in the National Assembly, proposed that the House should debate on-going bloodshed in the Muslim country. He was of the view that after the debate, the House should pass a resolution and it be dispatched to the Organization of the Islamic Conference and the Islamic countries. The parliamentarian stressed that the US had failed completely to restore peace and that the United Nations and Europe had their reservations over US-led invasion of Iraq. Achakzai demanded of the Government of Pakistan to adopt a clear-cut policy on Iraq, referring to sudden increase in the acts of terror. Pakistan opposed the war option vis-a-vis Iraq and declined to send troops after its occupation.


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