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Friday, April 29, 2005

Car Bombs Plague Baghdad

BAGHDAD (BBC) -- At least 23 people have been killed and more than 80 injured in a wave of car bomb attacks targeting Iraqi security forces in and around Baghdad.

The apparently coordinated blasts come just a day after Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari unveiled his new cabinet.

No-one has admitted carrying out the attacks, the deadliest of which took place in Baghdad's Adhamiya area.

A tape purportedly from al-Qaeda's leader in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, calls for more attacks on U.S. forces.

Posted on a website, the taped message is delivered by a speaker identifying himself as the Jordanian militant. He vows not to let President George W. Bush enjoy "peace of mind".

Four of Friday's attacks happened in the Sunni-dominated neighborhood of Adhamiya at around 0800 (0400GMT), officials said.

The blasts went off within minutes of each other and targeted patrols of Iraqi police or national guards as well as a restaurant they frequent.

At least 13 people were killed and more than 50 wounded, many of them civilians, in this wave of attacks.

Cars were destroyed, shops gutted and pools of blood stained the streets of a district where insurgents have been active.

"Why are they killing innocent Iraqis? Why are they trying to set Sunnis and Shias apart?" one man inspecting the damage, Adnan Aziz Salman, said to Reuters news agency. "They should go and kill our occupiers. We don't care who our leaders are. We just want security."

A short while later, a bomb also exploded as an Iraqi army convoy passed through the east of the city. At least one soldier was killed and eight wounded.

As people gathered to investigate the blast, a second bomb exploded.

Three devices also went off close to a military checkpoint, a hospital and a post office in the town of Madain, 30km south of Baghdad.

Nine Iraqi troops were killed and 35 people, mostly civilians, were wounded, police said.

The town was recently taken over by Iraqi forces after reports that scores of Shia Muslims had been taken hostage by insurgents there.
Description of Selected News

A Hero Gets a Purple Heart - and Soldiers' Angels Are There to See It

Received by Soldiers' Angels:

Here are the "Best Of" pictures I've collected so far.

I don't have any pictures of the crowd, which is a shame, since there were at least 200 (my best guess).

For everyone who hasn't heard the story about Willie, here it is:
Matt was laying on a stretcher in a bus at Landstuhl waiting to be put on a transport to the US. He was pretty much miserable, cold and in need of a pillow. All of a sudden a lady with a German accent appears out of nowhere, knowing his name, gives him a pillow and a quilt and a backpack with essential personal items. Before he can get her name, she's gone. He said it was like an angel had just appeared!

Willie is a German citizen and a volunteer Soldier's Angel who puts together backpacks for soldiers and distributes them in Landstahl. She drives 150 miles from her home to the hospital to do this.

Kay of the Oregon Army National Guard public affairs office called her and asked if she could check on Matt. After going to ICU and being sent to the ward and then sent to the buses, she found him on the 2rd bus, 5 minutes before they closed it up to leave.

Once Matt got to Madigan Army Medical Center at Ft Lewis, he told me the story and I started going through his stuff. I found a card with Willie's name and email address in the very bottom and we started to correspond.

Through all this time she has continued to support Matt with mail and gifts. She went a step farther and showed up to attend his Purple Heart Ceremony!

As a recognition for all Willie and two other Angels present have done for him and other soldiers he presented them with stained glass angels. And to watch over while her husband is in Iraq he gave one to Laura, as well.

Enjoy the pictures!

Dear Patti,
Dear Kathy,
I am glad that I had the great opportunity to visit Matthew Braddock in Oregon and went with him together and his mother Rhetta to his puple heart ceremony. Here a few pictures from the ceremony from Matthew's mother, Rhetta. The ceremony was a great event 200 people were there. Rhetta and Matthew introduced me their family members and the Oregon National Guard. Matthew had told all his comrades and his guests about the great work from the Soldiers Angels and the Fisher House Landstuhl. Two wonderful ladies, Kathy and Willie had brought him - as he felt himself so alone and cold - a backpack, a blanket and a pillow. For him it was his most important moment as he was in LRMC, to see that he was not alone.

I am glad that I had the great opportunity to support him and was sitting nearby him as he has received his purple heart. I know that God will Bless him and give him the power for a fast recovery. I am proud that we have men and women who are fighting for more freedom in our world and against the terrorism.

With best regards,
Wilhelmine Aufmkolk,
Germany Soldiers Angels

PHYSICAL FITNESS — U.S. Navy sailors aboard the guided missile destroyer USS O'Kane participate in "STO BO" at sunset while underway off the Horn of Africa, April 24, 2005. Started by Lt. Shannon McMillan, "STO-BO" has become a fun way of getting involved with a fitness regimen. The O'Kane is currently conducting Maritime Security Operations off the Horn of Africa. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Aaron Ansarov

In Today's News - Friday, April 29, 2005

Quote of the Day
"It's the sense of duty that keeps you going sometimes when things get very, very rough. Somebody's got to do it. And if you don't, who will?"
-- Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf Associated Press
Insurgent attacks in Baghdad kill 20
China's Hu, Taiwan opposition leader meet
Russia president meets Palestinian leaders
DIA: N. Korea can arm missile with nuke
Jury returns death sentence in GI killings

The US News: Iraq News
Defense witnesses say Marine accused of killing Iraqi detainees ...
Leaked Document Over Iraq War Creates Headache for Blair Days Before Election
Several Blasts Heard in Baghdad
Criminal network smuggles Iraqi fuel through well-organized racket
Three Car Bombs Target Iraqi Forces in Baghdad
Bush Applauds Iraqi Approval of Cabinet
Two Suspects Held in Investigation Into French Islamic Radicals Joining Iraq Insurgency
Sunni Representation Low in Iraqi Gov't
Chalabi named deputy prime minister of Iraq
African Union to triple Sudan peacekeepers
Amputee GI Sets Example In Iraq
AP: French ex-minister denies scandal ties
Web video said to show killing of Sudanese

Yahoo! News: War with Iraq
U.S., Insurgents Compete to Win Informants
Ten Killed in Car Bomb Attacks on Iraqi Forces
Shiite-led Cabinet gets Iraqi approval
Images depict Iraq war coffins
Iraq war an issue for Blair again
Three Car Bombs Target Iraqi Forces in Baghdad
Differences Delay War-Spending Bill
Iraq's New Cabinet

Fox News
Car Bombs Rock Baghdad
Purported Zarqawi tape threatens GIs
Putin Visits West Bank
Historic Meeting Between Taiwan and China Leaders
Feds Nab 52 for Giving Licenses to Illegals
Frist Offers Filibuster Deal
Vietnam Prepares for 30th Anniversary of War's End
Pentagon Releases Hundreds of Soldiers' Coffin Photos
Zell Miller Hospitalized

Department of Defense
Pace Passes Along Lessons to Cadets — Story Photos
Personnel Chief Discusses Family Issues — Story
Civic Leaders March Through Basic Training — Story Photos
Leaders Visit Georgia Base
Survivors Share Stories at Appreciation Event — Story

Afghan Army Gets Armored Personnel Carriers — Story
Soldiers, K-9 Partners Work to Deter Attacks — Story
Iraqis Train to Fly C-130s in Combat Zone — Story

Texas Guard Soldiers Patrol Deadly Grounds
Army Medics Bring Care to Remote Village
Hawaii National Guard Secures Camp Victory

Khost Team Helps Restore Mosque, Shrine
U.S. Army Europe Commander Visits Troops
Team Effort Manages Bagram’s Busy Air Ops

Deployed Airman Says 'I Do' Via Phone

USS Vinson Sailors Spend Liberty Helping Others
Bonhomme Richard Crew Helps Sailors at Oil Terminals

Marine Stops Enemy Attack, Saves Fellow Marines — Story

Superheroes Step Up – Story Kids Care Too Photos
Bank Donates Calling Cards
Free Videoconferencing Offered
Wounded, Families Get Tickets
NY Parade Donates to Injured
Grand Ole Opry Shows Support

U.S. Soldiers Aid Attack Victims
Rice Urges Continued Momentum
Success in Iraq - DoD Fact Sheet
Iraq Daily Update
Weekly Progress Report (pdf)

Afghans Majority of Workforce
Afghans Seize Heroin Shipment
Afghanistan Daily Update

U.S. Soldier Killed in Ambush
Rumsfeld Stresses Troops' Legacy
Waging and Winning the War on Terror
Terrorism Timeline
Terrorism Knowledge Base

Rumsfeld, Myers Testify on Budget
Photos: Rumsfeld, Myers Testimony
Health Benefits Enrollment Begins
Bush Proposes Refineries on Bases
National Guard, Reserve Update

Today in History
1289 - Qala'un, Sultan of Egypt, captures Tripoli.
1429 - In Orleans, Joan of Arc leads the French to victory over the English.
1624 - In France, Louis XIII appoints Cardinal Richelieu chief minister of the Royal Council.
1661 - The Chinese Ming dynasty occupies Taiwan.
1672 - King Louis XIV of France invades the Netherlands.
1813 - Rubber is patented.
1856 - Yokut Indians repel a second attack by the a band of civilian Indian fighters in California.
1861 - The Maryland House of Delegates votes against secession.
1862 - Forts Philip and Jackson surrender to Admiral Farragut.
1916 - In Dublin, Irish nationalists surrender to the British.
1918 - WWI American Ace of Aces, Eddie Rickenbacker, scores his first victory, aided by Captain James Norman Hall.
1924 - Open revolt breaks out in Cuba.
1930 - The film "All Quiet on the Western Front" premiers.
1945 - The German Army in Italy surrenders unconditionally to the Allies.
- Dachau is liberated by Allied troops.
1946 - Former Japanese leaders are indicted as war criminals.
1975 - The U.S. embassy in Vietnam is evacuated.
1983 - Harold Washington is sworn in as Chicago's first black mayor.
1992 - Four Los Angeles police offices are acquitted in the Rodney King case. Rioting ensues.

1745 - Oliver Ellsworth, 3rd Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court.
1818 - Alexander II, Czar of Russia.
1901 - Hirohito, Japanese emperor during and after World War II.