Bombs Rock Baghdad
Mustansiriyah University attacked, other bombs detonated in
Posted 8 hr. 31 min. ago
'Initial reports of 62 people were killed and 138 wounded outside of a major Sunni university in Eastern Baghdad near Sadr City today. Witnesses report a suicide bomber detonating an explosive vest followed by a car bomb parked outside the main gate. The explosions occurred as students were heading home and catching buses and rides. A spokesman for the university said that most of the victims were women students.
The Iraq Students and Youth League says that there have been at least 10 violent incidents in Baghdad's two largest universities from January 1st to the 7th. They also report that attendance dropped to as low as 6% at Baghdad University. The highest attendance level was 59 percent at private universities.
Universities were targeted for attack by Sunni militias who posted threatening leaflets. The response of Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki was to order students and professors to attend classes. Those who did not obey were threatened with dismissal or expulsion. The al-Mustansiriya University was founded in the 13th century, built in the Iranian Isfahan style along the Tigris river and was restored in the 1980's. Today it is plastered with photos of Moqtada al Sadr's father and photos along with photos of murdered students.
Other violent incidents in Baghdad involving double IEDs, mortars, drive by shootings and discovery of dead bodies brought the total death toll to 109 on the same day that the UN calculated the annual death toll of 34,000 in 2006 an average of 93 Iraqis killed every day. At least 155 educators have been killed since the war began.'
I'm surprised the university allowed photos of Sadr on the walls. They should take those photos down, if they can. Maybe that is the problem - perhaps the university feels the pressure from the Mahdi army, which should not be the case. They should display photos like this, taken by my father in the 70s:
Bombs Rock Baghdad