12 May 2007 Bloody Saturday
PAKISTAN: At least 27 are dead and a hundred wounded in Karachi in fighting betweeen rival political groups as demonstrations began in support of the ex-President of the Supreme Court, Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry, fired by President Mushareff in violation of the Constitution. Members of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, the largest organization supporting Musharraf, and the Popular Pakistani Party, led former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, in exile, clashed. In the tulmult a police station, 4 buses and several vehicles were set afire. Three leaders of the opposition were shot dead by assassins on motorcyles. Police also fired on the crowds. [Via Il Corriere, Milan]
IRAQ: Officials fear for the fate of 3 US soldiers, who disappeared after an attack on US forces south of the Baghdad. Five other soldiers died. The three were likely captured by insurgents near Falluja, 50 km from the capital.
A patrol of 7 US soldiers accompanied by an Iraqi interpreter came under small weapons fire at 4:44 am local time 20 km west of Mahmudiyah and fought a battle with insurgents, who likely mounted a fake checkpoint. This group was travelling in two Humvees, which, apparently, is not SOP. Meanwhile, on the Baghdad-Falluja highway, 24 bodies were recovered. 17 were found bound and blindfolded, having been shot in the head. The other 7 were found in Abu Hatem quarter of east Falluja.
In Baghdad, an attack using dynamite gravely wounded the son of the Iraqi Vice President, Tariq al-Hashimi, a Sunnit. Ahmed al-Hashimi is in critical condition after having been wounded Amiriya quarter of west Baghdad; he has already lost a sister and a brother in attacks on his family. Tariq al-Hashimi recently threatened to resign if Premier Nuri al-Maliki did not improve the security situation.
Two other bombs exploded, one in the Baladiyat Quarter of east Baghdad and another in the Saidiya of southwest Baghdad which targeted a US patrol. A suicide bomber detonated his payload against Iraq security forces in Madayin, 20 km south of Baghdad. [Via La Repubblica, Rome]
TURKEY: Smyrna. A bicycle suicide bomb killed 1 and wounded 12, some severely, in a marketplace. A major anti-Government demonstration is planned in Smyrna for Sunday.
SOMALIA: Mogadishu. A roadside bomb targeting the motorcade of UN representative John Holmes, UN Representative, killed 8 and wounded several more. No one in the motorcade was injured.