Suicide bomber kills 2 Iraq policemen as clashes with security forces in Basra continue

Iraqi protesters clash with security forces firing tear gas during a protest against the government and the lack of basic services, on August 31, 2018 in the southern city of Basra. (AFP)
Updated 02 September 2018
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Suicide bomber kills 2 Iraq policemen as clashes with security forces in Basra continue

KIRKUK/BAGHDAD: A suicide bomber has killed two Iraqi policemen near a former bastion of Daesh, days after Deash claimed a similar attack near Syria’s border, a security official said Friday.
On Thursday morning a “suicide bomber wearing an explosive vest drove a booby-trapped car into a federal police checkpoint” near Hawija, north of Baghdad, one official said.
“Two policemen were killed and a third one wounded,” in the attack, the official added.
Hawija is one of the last Daesh holdouts retaken by government troops a year ago and has long been a bastion of radical groups.
On Wednesday an Daesh suicide bomber blew a vehicle at a checkpoint on the outskirts of the Iraq border town of Al-Qaim, near the Syrian frontier, another of the last towns in Iraq to be recaptured from Daesh.
Also on Thursday, three members of Iraq’s Hashed Al-Shaabi paramilitary force, which played a key role in fighting Daesh, were wounded in a blast near Hawija, another security official said.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for Thursday’s attacks but Daesh said it was behind Wednesday’s suicide bombing.
In a purported new audio message released last week, Daesh leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi called on his followers to “not give up against their enemy.”
According to Hisham Al-Hashemi, an expert on radical extremist groups, about 2,000 militants Daesh are still active in Iraq, which declared victory over the extremists in December last year.
Meanwhile, hundreds of Iraqi protesters stoned and tried to break into the provincial government headquarters in the southern oil hub of Basra on Friday to press demands for better public services and an end to pervasive corruption.
Some protesters also set fire to tires outside the building and there were minor clashes with riot police who fired tear gas to try to quell the protest. No serious injuries were reported.
Protests have swept cities in the long neglected south over widespread electricity outages during the blistering hot Iraqi summer, a lack of jobs and proper government services, and entrenched graft.
Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi suspended the electricity minister last month and said earlier this week that his government had begun punishing those responsible for poor services in Basra, Iraq’s second biggest city.
Public anger is rising at a time when politicians are struggling to form a new government after an inconclusive parliamentary election in May. Iraq’s top Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani has expressed support for the protests.
Friday’s protests were particularly concerned with the high level of salt in Basra’s drinking water that residents say makes it undrinkable.
The city’s infrastructure is crumbling from years of neglect and under-investment, generating widespread bitterness as locals contrast their impoverishment with the oil wealth the province provides for federal government coffers.

 


Thousands in Egypt attacked by stray dogs: Ministry

In this Feb. 3, 2015 file photo, stray dogs rest in front of the Pyramids of Giza on the outskirts of Cairo, Egypt. (AP)
Updated 17 June 2019
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Thousands in Egypt attacked by stray dogs: Ministry

  • Environment Minister Yasmine Fouad has said the ministry is ready to address the crisis of stray dogs

CAIRO: There have been 6,241 cases of people being hospitalized after being attacked by stray dogs in Egypt’s Menoufia governorate during the past four months, the Ministry of Health and Population said in a report.
Ahmed Kamel, one of those injured, said the dogs are everywhere, but no action has been taken by the authorities despite complaints from residents.
“We fear street dogs for our children. They’re attacking us ferociously. A dog attacked me after I left my house,” he added.
“I defended myself and tried to hit him with a stone, but he sank his teeth into my feet. I had to go to the health center and they gave me a vaccine.”
Environment Minister Yasmine Fouad has said the ministry is ready to address the crisis of stray dogs.
Meanwhile, a report by the Department of Preventive Medicine at the Directorate of Health Affairs in Menoufia revealed that 759 people have been hospitalized due to rat bites so far this year.
Dr. Hassan Shafiq, deputy head of the Egyptian Veterinary Service, said rat bites can transmit deadly diseases.
Rats “live next to ponds, marshes and plantations, and feed mainly on … grains, fruits and vegetables, so they are often responsible for crop damage,” he added.