Attacks on U.S. and Iraqi military continue disregarding place and date. Thursday security forces captured a would-be suicide bomber near the entrance to the heavily guarded Green Zone; Friday, on the Muslim day of prayer, ordinarily a relatively quiet period in Baghdad, a series of car bombs targeted American and Iraqi troops in separate areas of the Iraqi capital.
Two Iraqi soldiers were killed and six were injured when suicide car bomb exploded near an Iraqi patrol in Andalus Square in central Baghdad, Col. Salman Abdul Karim said.
According to the AP, car bombs also exploded near a U.S. convoy in the Rustamiyah area of southeastern Baghdad, witnesses said, and near an Iraqi patrol in the north of the city. Police said there were casualties in the north Baghdad attack but there was no comment from U.S. authorities on the Rustamiyah blast.
Earlier Friday, mortar shells exploded near the headquarters of an Iraqi commando battalion in the Sunni neighborhood of Azamiyah of north Baghdad, police said. Three mortars also fell across the Tigris River in the Shiite district Kazimiyah, police added. No casualties nor damage were reported in any of the blasts.
Al-Qaida claimed responsibility for a largely unsuccessful suicide attack Thursday near the Green Zone entrance. The area is home to the U.S. Embassy and major Iraqi government offices.
Meanwhile, the U.S. is losing its allies in Iraq. A group of South Korean lawmakers submitted a resolution to the National Assembly on Friday calling for the withdrawal of the more than 3,000 South Korean troops from Iraq following last week's terrorist attacks in London.
Several years ago, a prominent Indonesian businessman who now resides in Canada, insisted on meeting me in a back room of one of Jakarta's posh restaurants. An avid reader of mine, he 'had something urgent to tell me', after finding out that our paths were going to be crossing in this destroyed and hopelessly polluted Indonesian capital.
Presidential candidate Ksenia Sobchak, who was accredited for the press conference by Vladimir Putin from Dozhd (Rain) television channel, asked Putin about competition at the coming election
On December 14, President Putin holds his annual Q&A session with Russian and foreign journalists. This conference is considered to be the beginning of his presidential campaign