Top of the Morning: Over 100 Killed in Iraq Bombings; Beijing Floods; Madagascar Mutiny

Top stories from DAWNS Digest.

Scores Killed in Unprecedented Wave of Attacks Across Iraq

A series of attacks targeting Shia communities across Iraq has killed over 100 people today. “In a coordinated display intended to show they remain a viable force, Iraqi insurgents launched at least 40 separate attacks on Monday morning, setting off car bombs, storming a military base and ambushing checkpoints, Iraqi authorities said. It was the single bloodiest day this year, with at least 112 people killed and more than 300 wounded in preliminary totals, according to local Iraqi officials in the many areas where attacks took place. The toll could rise still further as reports of further strikes continued to come in from provinces in northern and central Iraq well into the afternoon. One day earlier the attacks had been predicted in an audio message attributed to the leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Bakir Al Baghdadi, and posted on the group’s Web site. The message promised that a new offensive, which it called Breaking Down Walls, would begin soon.” (NYT

Massive Flooding Inundates Beijing

The Chinese capital experienced some terrible flooding this weekend. “A severe rainstorm pounded Beijing Saturday, flooding roads and low-lying buildings, knocking out power in several neighborhoods and killing 37 people, according to state media reports. More than 500 flights were cancelled or delayed at the Beijing airport, stranding tens of thousands after the heaviest rain in 61 years fell on the Chinese capital. By Sunday the waters had largely subsided, the rainfall having scoured the city streets and temporarily clearing out Beijing’s notorious air pollution. But the storm-induced paralysis was a reminder that for all its development, the Chinese capital still suffers from potentially debilitating infrastructure weaknesses. The rain began to fall heavily shortly after noon and continued throughout the evening. Beijing is usually a dry city, better known for its sandstorms than its rainstorms. But in the summer it can experience flash flooding when heavy precipitation overwhelms sewers and storm drains. Each year generally sees some flash flooding, but this was the worst in recent memory. Weeks of unusually high rainfall meant that the city’s canals and reservoirs were ill-prepared to handle a sudden and sustained downpour.” (Time

Madagascar Military Mutiny Quelled

Two people were killed after the Madagascar army suppressed a buddying “mutiny” at an army base near the country’s main airport. “Madagascar’s army stormed a military barracks near the island country’s main airport in order to quell a mutiny, killing the corporal who led it and arresting a number of mutineers, the army said on Sunday. The soldiers had seized the barracks located 10km (6.2 miles) from the capital Antananarivo at dawn 16 hours earlier. It was unclear what their grievances or demands were, but the drama escalated dramatically when they shot and fatally wounded an officer who had been sent in to negotiate with them. ‘The situation is under control,’ General Raphael Ramasy, the defense minister’s chief-of-staff told the public television station TVN. ‘Corporal Koto Mainty, alias ‘Black’, has been killed. The other mutineers gave themselves up or were arrested,’ Ramasy added. The army said Mainty, the leader of the mutiny, was the ex-bodyguard of a former defense minister.” (Reuters

USA’s Plan B for Syria

With diplomacy failed at the UN, the USA is exploring a number of options to directly support Syrian rebels in their fight against Bashar al Assad. “Administration officials insist they will not provide arms to the rebel forces. Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar are already financing those efforts. But American officials said that the United States would provide more communications training and equipment to help improve the combat effectiveness of disparate opposition forces in their widening, sustained fight against Syrian Army troops. It’s also possible the rebels would receive some intelligence support, the officials said. By enhancing the command-and-control of the rebel formations, largely by improving their ability to communicate with one another and their superiors and to coordinate combat operations, American officials say they are seeking to build on and fuel the momentum of the rebels’ recent battlefield successes.” (NYT