Morning Report 7/24/05
Baghdad: Very Hot Today

With scattered body parts

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A drive bomber launched his explosive-laden truck toward a Baghdad police station today, but concrete barriers stopped him 60 feet short.

That's the good news.

The bad news is that the truck exploded, killing at least 22 people (mostly cops) and injuring at least 25 others (mostly civilians). As the BBC reports:

This latest attack occurred during an already miserable, all-too-typical summertime Sunday in the capital's New Baghdad district. From a story by Edward Wong of the New York Times:

    The bomb struck in the early afternoon, as a sandstorm swirled around the capital, cloaking buildings and streets with a thick layer of grit.

The July 24 attack was the deadliest since way back on July 16, when 100 were killed in Musayyib.

In the middle of this living hell—the temperature in Baghdad was 114 at the time—U.S. military officials are doing plenty of talking about the blast to reporters in Baghdad, telling Al Jazeera and the Times that the truck was carrying 500 pounds of explosives and that the death toll was in fact as high as 40.

I thought the U.S. military didn't do body counts of Iraqis. Oh, I see, the Pentagon doesn't do them for the people back home in America, who are paying for this disaster with their money and children.

Hours after the blast, there was still no word about it on the Defense Department's site.

So let's turn to Al Jazeera for a roundup of the rest of today's brutality in Iraq:

    Elsewhere, scattered attacks around the capital on Sunday left three dead, including two police officers, while a police lieutenant colonel was killed in northern Iraq, police and hospital officials said.

    Also, a Baghdad city employee was seriously wounded in a drive-by shooting as he headed to work on Sunday, and a former member of a local city council was shot and killed on Saturday night in front of his home in a town north of the capital, officials said.

In this infernal city of 6 million, for whom the electricity is turned on only one hour in four, and a million people in the suburbs are without water, it's only going to get hotter.

No, really, it is. The temperature in Baghdad reached 116 this afternoon, according to CNN, and the forecast calls for highs of 117 on Monday, 118 on Tuesday, and 120 on Wednesday.

Mercifully, it'll stop climbing on Thursday. It's expected to stay at 120.


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