Baghdad Bombing ignites Demand for Better Security

Amid escalated demands for improved security, former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki expressed his desire to return to the position in a BBC interview July 3. He accused the incumbent government of being deficient and said the protests that have been ongoing since last summer to demand reform are wrecking the political process and will deteriorate the situation in Iraq.

In a related development, many members of the Popular Mobilization Units, which includes Shiite militias, demanded the Iraqi government turn over the security investigation in Baghdad to them — a move some observers say is designed to increase the organization's power politically and socially. The demand was widely welcomed, as the organization enjoys broad public support in Shiite provinces and Baghdad, thanks to its continual achievements in fighting IS.

Several Iraqi activists launched a petition asking the United Nations to conduct an international investigation into the Karrada bombing. More than 77,000 people have signed the petition so far. The hashtag #international_investigation_karada was also created on Facebook and Twitter for that purpose.

The people want an international investigation because of suspicions raised by the nature of the attack, the extent of its damage and the kinds of materials used. Questions are being raised about how the suicide bomber breached the area's supposedly strong security. Also, officials said the resulting fire spread in an exceptionally quick way and charred victims' bodies.

Abadi ordered an increased security perimeter and reorganized checkpoints, and called for strengthening intelligence support.

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