Monday, August 22, 2005

War on Terror - attacks in Iraq & Afganistan

In Afghanistan, four US soldiers were killed over the weekend by a roadside bomb. This brings the total to 228 coalition dead since hostilities began in 2001. Seventy four have died this year alone. [Afghanistan casualties 2005 / Afghanistan casualties 2001-2005] In Iraq, a bomb killed several police and civilians in Baghdad on Monday. On Sunday a US soldier was killed by an IED in Samarra whilst on patrol. Three others were injured, one later died from his injuries. Oil exports resumed in Basra Monday. Operations had been halted after attacks earlier the same day [Al-Jazeera] And the BBC reported 11 Pakistani oil workers were released today, a week after their kidnapping. They were taken as they made their way to Baghdad from the southern oil fields. More than 257 attacks on Iraq’s oil infrastructure since March 2003 [Iraq Pipeline Watch]
And the deadline approaches for the Iraqi government to finalize the new Iraqi Constitution. Oil and federalism are said to be the main stumbling blocks. But George W. Bush said today, "The constitution is a difficult process that involves debate and compromise. We know this from our own history. The constitutional convention was home to political rivalry and regional disagreements. The constitution our founders produced has been amended many times over. So Americans understand the challenges facing the framers of Iraq’s new constitution. We admire their thoughtful deliberations. We salute their determination to lay the foundation for lasting democracies amid the ruins of a brutal dictatorship."
The deadline expires at midnight local time [20:00 GMT] for the delivery of the Constitution.
[19:34 GMT 22/08/2005]

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