Sunday 30 September 2012

Iraq - what a mess we left behind us

Just days after former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan castigated Tony Blair for failing to prevent the Iraq War, another dreadful reminder of its disastrous consequences, as a series of explosions ripped through the country, killing at least 9 people.

Worst hit was the town of Taji, 12 miles north of Baghdad, where 8 people died and more than 20 were injured by 3 car bombs.   According to some reports, the bombs were placed near Shia Muslim homes in the mainly Sunni town.

On September 9, at least 58 people were killed in a wave of attacks in 10 cities.   Then the bloodiest were in Amara, 185 miles south of Baghdad, where two car bombs exploded outside a Shia shrine and market place.

Just over a week later, at least 7 people lost their lives in a suicide car bomb near the heavily guarded International Zone in Baghdad, while June saw the deadliest day since American troops withdrew, with 84 people killed and nearly 300 injured.

Saturday 29 September 2012

Pakistan floods YET again

I have been away for a month, but some things don’t change.   My last blog at the end of August was about floods in Pakistan, so is this one.

During the last two weeks, heavy monsoon rains have caused floods that have killed more than 400 people and driven tens of thousands from their homes, with the province of Sindh worst hit.    

Pakistan’s worst floods came in 2010 (see picture) when nearly 1,800 people died and more than 20 million were affected in some way, leaving about a fifth of the country under water, and causing damage estimated at up to £30 billion.

Sindh also suffered badly from heavy rains in 2011, when again more than 400 people lost their lives, and 1.7 million acres of arable land were inundated in one of the country’s most important agricultural areas.