Lebanon mourns car bomb victims

BEIRUT, Lebanon (AP) — Lebanese police sifted through debris and burned cars Saturday, searching for clues at the site of a car bomb that killed one of Lebanon’s top terrorism investigators.

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The blast set several vehicles ablaze inside a blackened crater in the middle of the street.
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Investigators were also trying to determine if the latest bombing was part of a string of attacks that have targeted leading anti-Syrian politicians in the past three years, a security official said Saturday. Syria has often been blamed in the attacks, but Damascus has denied any role.

The powerful bomb Friday killed Capt. Wissam Eid, whose work included probing the 2005 killing of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

Saturday was declared a day of national mourning by the government, and a ceremony was held to honor Eid and his bodyguard, who was also slain along with three passers-by.

Eid, 31, worked for the police intelligence agency which is closely tied to the Western-backed government and had survived two previous assassination attempts. Friday’s attack also wounded 37 people, police said.

“Security and judicial police investigators are probing a possible link between Capt. Eid’s killing and a series of assassinations that have rocked Lebanon in the last three years,” the official told The Associated Press. He spoke on condition of anonymity in line with government regulations.

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Putin told of ‘assassination bid’

The Russian President, Vladimir Putin, has been warned of a plot to assassinate him during a visit to Iran this week, Kremlin officials have said. The Interfax news agency cited sources in the Russian special services saying a gang of suicide bombers would attempt to kill Mr Putin in Tehran.

Mr Putin will fly to Tehran on Monday after meetings in Germany.

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Cholera Epidemic Infects 7,000 People in Iraq

Yep, the surge is working, add genocide through sickness to the list of war crimes.

BAGHDAD, Sept. 11 — A cholera epidemic in northern Iraq has infected approximately 7,000 people and could reach Baghdad within weeks as the disease spreads through the country’s decrepit and unsanitary water system, Iraqi health officials said Tuesday.

The World Health Organization reported that the epidemic is concentrated in the northern regions of Kirkuk and Sulaimaniya and that 10 people are known to have died. But Dr. Said Hakki, president of the Iraqi Red Crescent Society, a relief organization that has responded to the epidemic, said that new cases had turned up in the neighboring provinces, Erbil and Nineveh, indicating that the disease had spread.

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Most significant, Dr. Hakki said, were two cases in a village on the border between Kirkuk and Diyala Provinces, one involving a young girl. Baghdad is next to Diyala.

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Riverbend of “Baghdad Burning” Now in Exile

I am greatful that Riverbend and her family have found relative safety in Syria.

But I grief for her loss, read her heartwrenching story:

Leaving Home…
Two months ago, the suitcases were packed. My lone, large suitcase sat in my bedroom for nearly six weeks, so full of clothes and personal items, that it took me, E. and our six year old neighbor to zip it closed.

Packing that suitcase was one of the more difficult things I’ve had to do. It was Mission Impossible: Your mission, R., should you choose to accept it is to go through the items you’ve accumulated over nearly three decades and decide which ones you cannot do without. The difficulty of your mission, R., is that you must contain these items in a space totaling 1 m by 0.7 m by 0.4 m. This, of course, includes the clothes you will be wearing for the next months, as well as any personal memorabilia- photos, diaries, stuffed animals, CDs and the like.

I packed and unpacked it four times. Each time I unpacked it, I swore I’d eliminate some of the items that were not absolutely necessary. Each time I packed it again, I would add more ‘stuff’ than the time before. E. finally came in a month and a half later and insisted we zip up the bag so I wouldn’t be tempted to update its contents constantly.

The decision that we would each take one suitcase was made by my father. He took one look at the box of assorted memories we were beginning to prepare and it was final: Four large identical suitcases were purchased- one for each member of the family and a fifth smaller one was dug out of a closet for the documentation we’d collectively need- graduation certificates, personal identification papers, etc.

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