Twin explosions target Iraq communist party HQ in Baghdad: spokesman

File photo showing Labour Day demonstrators raising communist party banners in Baghdad, Iraq, 2018. (Reuters)
Updated 25 May 2018
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Twin explosions target Iraq communist party HQ in Baghdad: spokesman

BAGHDAD: Two bombs exploded Friday close to the Baghdad headquarters of the Iraqi Communist Party, said a spokesman for the political alliance which alongside populist cleric Moqtada Sadr triumphed in elections earlier this month.
Three people were injured in the twin explosions, a police official told AFP on condition of anonymity.
The attack is the first time a political party has been targeted in the Iraqi capital since the electoral campaign started in mid-April.
“Two bombs were thrown at the ICP headquarters,” in Al-Andalus Square, spokesman Jassem Al-Hilfi told AFP.
He accused the “corrupt who cannot accept that they lost” the parliamentary elections of being behind the attack.
The bombings are “a threatening message aimed at frightening us to stop us from pursuing the path of reform and change,” he added.
The Iraqi Communist Party receives threats “all the time,” Hilfi said.
Sadr’s Marching Towards Reform anti-corruption campaign saw the alliance win 54 seats in the May 12 vote, to become the biggest bloc in Iraq’s 329-seat parliament.
The pro-Iranian Conquest Alliance, made up of ex-fighters from mainly Shiite paramilitary units that battled Daesh, came second in the elections.
The Victory Alliance of Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi, who declared victory over Daesh in December, performed worse than expected and came third.

 


Abbas denies Palestinians refused peace talks with Israel

Updated 35 min 21 sec ago
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Abbas denies Palestinians refused peace talks with Israel

PARIS: Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has denied US claims the Palestinians have refused to enter peace talks with Israel.
Abbas’ denial came after talks in Paris with French President Emmanuel Macron Friday. Abbas asked Macron to pass the message onto US President Donald Trump.
US National Security Adviser John Bolton said earlier this month that the Palestinian de facto embassy in Washington was being shut because the PLO hadn’t taken steps toward negotiations.
Abbas said “we didn’t reject negotiations as the Israelis claim,” adding that the Palestinian side is “ready for any confidential or public talks.”
Abbas also said “the Europeans are working seriously to substitute and fill the American (funding) gap” after the Trump administration canceled over $200 million in aid for Palestinian projects.