Dependable Erection

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Shiny happy people holding hands

In Baghdad, a parked minibus packed with explosives blew up in Tayaran Square, riddling cars with shrapnel, knocking over pushcarts and sending smoke into the sky, witnesses said. The blast killed 23 people and injured 68.

Yousef Qasim, 37, was working in his clothing shop 200 yards away when the blast tore through a line of buses waiting at the square, he said.

"I rushed there to see about four or five burning bodies," he said.

Shop owners grabbed their wares and tried to flee, fearing a second blast, said Talib Dhirgham, who owns a nearby laundromat. Police who arrived at the scene confiscated the cameras of journalists who came to cover the attack.

Because that's their job, to make sure those pictures don't get into circulation to disturb our beautiful minds.

But wait, there's more:
Gunmen in police uniforms kidnapped at least three Western lecturers in Baghdad on Tuesday, a witness told Reuters, as eight more U.S. soldiers were reported killed in the deadliest month this year.

The gunmen seized the lecturers and several of their bodyguards from a Finance Ministry building in central Baghdad, the witness said.

. . .

Police identified the lecturers as German and said up to four were seized when gunmen entered the ministry building. The British embassy declined immediate comment on media reports that the bodyguards were British.

The lecturers had been advising ministry personnel on organizing electronic contracts, said the witness, who did not want to be identified.

The gunmen entered the lecture room led by a man wearing a police major's uniform, the witness said.

As the Iraqi security forces stand up, we'll be able to stand down, or so i hear.

UPDATE: BBC is giving new details on the kidnap operation:
Five Britons have been kidnapped from Iraq's finance ministry in Baghdad, the British government has confirmed.

They included four bodyguards and a finance expert. Earlier reports said the expert was German.

Witnesses and sources told the BBC that the kidnappers wore police uniforms and arrived in up to 40 police vehicles.

. . .

There are conflicting reports about exactly how Tuesday's abduction took place and how many people are missing.

Witnesses said it was carried out by what appeared to be a police unit.

The street was sealed off at both ends and the kidnappers, in police camouflage uniforms, walked straight past guards at the finance ministry building on Palestine Street, the witnesses said.

A police source told the BBC that dozens of police vehicles were used in the operation.

The BBC's Paul Wood in Baghdad says that if such reports are true, it could point to the involvement of a renegade police unit, possibly special commandoes.

While it has been possible in the past for criminals or militants to hire police uniforms and vehicles, he says, the scale of this operation suggests real police involvement.

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