Scores of Iraqis Killed in Bombing Blitz
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HARI SREENIVASAN: At least 76 Iraqis were killed today in a bombing blitz aimed at Shiites in Baghdad. At least 13 car bombs and roadside blasts ripped through Shiite neighborhoods. Police and hospitals said, in addition to the dead, nearly 200 people were wounded. The attacks came as funerals were held in Baghdad for victims of a hostage siege at a Roman Catholic Church – 58 people died in that attack on Sunday.
In Afghanistan, new violence took the lives of three more NATO troops. There was no word on their nationalities. Meanwhile, several hundreds Afghans protested in Kabul over problems with September’s parliamentary elections. The country’s electoral commission has already thrown out nearly a quarter of the ballots over fraud concerns. Final results have yet to be announced.
More mail bombs exploded in Athens, Greece, today. Two went off outside the Russian and Swiss embassies, and police found several more bombs around the city. There were no injuries reported, but police in Germany intercepted another apparent bomb in the mailroom of Chancellor Angela Merkel. It had a Greek return address.
Separately, it was widely reported that U.S. officials tracked packages sent from Yemen to Chicago in September. They said it could have been a dry run for last Friday’s aborted cargo bomb attacks.
An American-born radical cleric is now on trial in absentia in Yemen. Anwar al-Awlaki has been linked to the Fort Hood shootings, the failed bombing of a plane over Detroit last Christmas, and the Times Square bomb plot. He is believed to be in hiding in southern Yemen. The U.S. has blacklisted Awlaki as a global terrorist.
In financial news, Wall Street made modest gains, as investors waited to see how the election results might affect economic policy. The Dow Jones industrial average added 64 points to close at 11188. The Nasdaq rose 28 points to close at 2533.
San Francisco celebrated a World Series championship today, after the Giants finished off the Texas Rangers last night. The Giants clinched it in game five with a 3-1 win. They had not claimed a World Series title since moving west from New York City more than half-a-century ago.
The victory sent thousands of fans into the streets of San Francisco. Officials said most were peaceful, but some revelers turned rowdy, and five were arrested.
Those are some of the day’s major stories.