Thursday, March 22, 2007

Video: Just another day in paradise...

Ban Ki-moon, shaken, stirred, but not actually hurt by a mortar attack near the scene of his press conference with al-Maliki.

Moments after telling journalists he might boost the United Nations' presence in Iraq because of improved security, a thunderous blast sent shockwaves through the conference venue, startling Ban and sending him ducking for cover behind a podium.
Interior Minister Jawad Bolani played down the incident afterwards, telling Reuters: "This was not a security breach. Things like this happen in Baghdad once or twice a week."

A Reuters reporter at the scene said the rocket landed on a small building about 50 meters from the news conference venue, a guesthouse in the prime minister's compound. The Interior Ministry said it landed in a field outside the compound.

Earlier, Ban praised Maliki's "strong leadership" and said: "As we see the improved situation on the ground, I am considering to increase the presence of the United Nations."

Once or twice a week? Does he actually live in Baghdad or read his ministry's statistics?

Statistics compiled from official daily reports of the Interior Ministry and other Iraqi government sources, as well as interviews in 20 Baghdad neighborhoods about the plan's initial measures, however, show that some early judgments are possible about the plan's effectiveness. With most members of Congress expressing skepticism about the plan's prospects for success, such information could prove useful in the debate over Bush's plan to commit a total of 17,500 additional troops to the plan in the coming months.

From Dec. 1, 2006, through Feb. 14, the number of people killed in public places from violent attacks averaged 14.8 a day. From Feb. 15 through Monday, the number declined, but just barely, to 13.8. Car bombs were up slightly, from an average of 1.2 a day to 1.6, while roadside bombs were identical at 1 per day.

Injuries, on average, rose from 40.4 a day to 52.8 since the start of the plan, while bodies dumped by death squads declined from 22.8 a day to 14.6.

I thought they got rid of Baghdad Bob.

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