3 Explosive Devices at Iraqi Newspaper Office upon Publishing a Caricature of the Iranian Supreme Leader!!

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Monday, February 10, 2014, the entrance of the Iraqi newspaper Al Sabah Al Jadid was attacked by an explosive device, while further 2 explosive devices were dismantled, upon publishing a caricature of the Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, a religious leader of the Shiite community, on Thursday, February 6, by the Iraqi cartoonist Ahmmed Rubei.
The bombing, which occurred in the early morning hours did not result in human casualties, however, it resulted in the crash of the building facade, preventing the staff to work, and preventing the release of the newspaper.
On Sunday, February 9, the newspaper has published an apology disclaimer on the first page by its editor Ismail Zayer in which he said, "... the editors of the extension have located, inadvertently, the caricature of the Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, but in the next day we removed it and withdrew the whole extension from the site so as not to be misused or misunderstood by any unfair people, which may prejudice the prestige of the Leader Khamenei. Yesterday, we also made extensive and intimate contacts with the staff of the Embassy of the Islamic Republic in Baghdad, explaining our position and telling them that the newspaper would not allow to insult the symbols of the Iranian people, where we would express our apology in a special editorial on the first page of today's release.” He also added "I should apologize in my name and in the name of the editorial board for the unintended confusion in the extension which was released first and foremost to honor the Iranian people."
In the evening of the same day, the newspaper management has published a statement in which they held the inducing parties the legal responsibility for the safety of the newspaper and its staff, and called the concerned governmental authorities to take the necessary action in this regard, but that did not plead for the newspaper and did not excite the Iraqi authorities to protect the newspaper from bombings that occurred the next day, Monday, February 10th.
The newspaper said in its statement, "What we published was not intended to carry any insult to Mr. Khamenei, since we appreciate and respect his humanitarian and religious position. The editorial board of the newspaper contacted with the Iranian embassy in the next day to explain the situation and clear up that confusion. The editorial also published on its front page a confirmation to its position based on the professional and ethical controls that prevent the insult to any individual or group, not to mention the prejudice to religious characters, however, some of extremist groups proceeded to publish such inducing statements on social networking sites and in some newspapers, calling for demonstrations against the newspaper, in an abhorrent practice that drives and encourages blatant acts of aggression against the newspaper and its staff."
The statement also added "Such irresponsible acts, which brings to mind the dominance of militias, will not scare us nor lead us to give up the freedom of opinion and expression, which is one of the most prominent gains from the change witnessed by our country after the departure of the Baath regime. We also emphasize that those who want to impose tutelage on us beyond the borders and on behalf of others are not acceptable."
Numerous TV stations, websites and social networking sites have quoted the news about the cartoon of Khamenei as it was an abusive cartoon to Messenger Mohamed, and quoted from the Iraqi parliament’s members their denunciation of what they considered an abuse, threatening the avenge of the newspaper, and calling to hold those who made it the accountability, with a call for closing the newspaper, while Al-Sumariah radio station quoted from the Iraqi Justice Minister Hassan Al-Shammri what he said, "The prejudice to religious characters and insulting them is a violation to the Iraqi Constitution,” confirming that the perpetrators would be under the penalty of the law.
An official staff in Al Sabah Al Jadid newspaper said to the Iraqi newspaper Almada “The cameras have revealed the process of locating an explosive device in front of the headquarter of the newspaper by a masked person, on Sunday 23:00, where we contacted with security forces and they defused it." They also added "But there was another explosive device that exploded at dawn causing much damage without causing any human casualties."
The Iraqi cartoonist Ahmmed Rubei along with some of his colleagues in the newspaper were forced to hide and change their places of residence, while some of them have left the capital Baghdad to an unknown destination.

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