Friday, May 2, 2014

2 May 2014

Everybody, especially the political blocs and parties, was surprised by the transport of the Anbar ballot boxes to the Baghdad International Fair (being used as the national balloting center). The boxes were collected at the Ayn Al-Asad military base in Al-Baghdadi (between Hit and Haditha) and then transported by air to Baghdad. This first-time-ever step has surprised and angered the participating political entities; they fear that this will facilitate the manipulation of the results, in the absence of observers and representatives of the parties and blocs, and has cast a shadow over the political scene in Anbar where everyone is awaiting the results, regardless of whatever is happening behind the scenes.

There were clashes and heavy shelling today in Fallujah and Al-Garma. Fallujah has been shelled by artillery fire and air strikes which has been broadened to include most of the city's residential districts. A casualty estimate announced a short time ago indicates one person being killed and 10 others, mainly women and children, were injured.

In Al-Garma, there were violent clashes and heavy shelling in a number of the town's districts. There have been some civilian casualties, but the violent military action is still underway as of this afternoon (Friday).

Meanwhile, official Anbar sources have stated today that there are secret negotiations in the Jordanian capital, Amman, between the leadership of the Military Council of Anbar Revolutionaries and high-level representatives of the central government. Sabah Karhout, the leader of the Anbar Governorate Council, said in a press release that the next few days might produce a way out of the crisis, and the return of displaced families to their homes.

Water levels of the Euphrates River have risen and the flooding has inundated vast tracts of agricultural fields in and around the township of Abu Ghraib and the western outskirts of Baghdad. We have learned that the Governor of Baghdad, Ali Al-Timimi has stated that the flooding is beyond the control of the local government. He has called on the relevant ministries to provide a solution, given the spread of the flooding toward the capital.

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