13 August 2004 Events in Iraq
20.52 Hilla. CLASHES IN CITY, SEVERAL ARE DEAD. Violent combat in Hilla, south of Baghdad, between US troops, local police and al-Sadr militia. There are several dead. Twenty Polish troops have been surrounded and have called in US support.
20.34 Baghdad. ATTACKS FOILED. Iraqi police say they foiled a series of bombings between yesterday and today in Baghdad: Three car bombings and the sabotage of an oil storage tank.
20.32 Baghdad. EXPLOSION NEAR US EMBASSY, TWO IRAQIS WOUNDED. According to spokesman Lennoo Absher, mortars or RPG were used.
20.19 Hilla. US TROOPS BACK UP POLES. The multinational contingent has dispatched Polish and US Special Forces, supported by helicopter gun ships to Hilla, where twenty Polish troops are surrounded by al-Sadr guerrillas.
19.34 Hilla. 20 POLISH TROOPS SURROUNDED. Twenty Polish troops are surrounded by Al Sadr militiamen inside a Hilla police station.
19.25 Najaf. UN RENEWS CALLS FOR CEASEFIRE Ashraf Jehangir Qazi, special envoy of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, calls for ceasefire in Najaf.
19.13 Baghdad. TWO EXPLOSIONS. Two explosions were heard from within the Green Zone. Two columns of smoke were seen on the west bank of the Tigris.
19.05 Fallujah. SIX KILLED IN US AIRSTRIKE ON FALLUJAH. Six Iraqis, including two children, were killed in a US air strike on Fallujah. Another eleven people were wounded.
17.14 - BRITISH JOURNALIST: "I'M FINE". I thank the Mahdi Army for my release.", says Brandon. I'm doing fine.".
17.01 Najaf. IRAQI POLICE ARREST AL ARABIYA CAMERAMAN IN NAJAF. Iraqi police have arrested an al-Arabiya cameraman and have moved him to an unknown location. "Our cameraman Mohammed Fuad was arrested as he performed his job", says a network commentator. "Fuad is being held in an unknown location and our al-Arabiya staff is unable to contact him".
16.50 Basrah. BRITISH JOURNALIST RELEASED. James Brandon has been freed in Basrah.
16.45 Baghdad. UN ENVOY ARRIVES. The UN Special Ambassador to Iraq, Asraf Qazi, has arrived in Baghdad with a small delegation to assist in the political transition of the country.
16.15 Najaf. CONDITIONS IMPOSED BY AL SADR. The conditions imposed by Al Sadr to abandon Najaf with his army have been announced during a press conference in a Najaf hotel. If all multinational forces, the Iraqi police and military leave Najaf and if the Marjayia (religious authority) agrees to take control of the city, then the Mahdi Army with withdraw from Najaf. In addition, all essential municipal services must be restored, the militia must be recognized as a political movement and its members must retain the right to bear arms for self defense. Furthermore, Resistance prisoners must been freed.
16.00 Najaf. AL SADR DEMANDS COALITION LEAVE NAJAF. All Coalition forces and Iraq police must leave Najaf, which is to be placed under the control of the religious authorities says al Sadr as a condition for his departure from the city.
15.43 Najaf. AL SADR ANNOUNCES 10 CONDITIONS FOR PEACE IN NAJAF. Moqtada Sadr, besieged in Najaf with his militia, has imposed ten conditions to end fighting in Najaf.
15.32 Najaf. CEASEFIRE NEAR. An accord for a ceasefire in Najaf is near, says spokesman for the Iraqi caretaker government.
15.27 Basrah. SADR COLLABORATOR EXHORTS POLICE TO JOIN MILITIA. "You're either with us or against us," said al Sadr spokesman Sheik Ahmed al-Maliky as he addressed thousands of supporters in Basrah.
15.05 Fallujah. US aircraft bombarded Fallujah for a second day. The civilian hospital director says four Iraqis, three of them children, were killed in the bombing. Another four people, including one child, were wounded.
14.36 Basrah. BRITISH JOURNALIST FREED. The kidnappers of James Branson have released Telegraph journalist after mediation by Moqtada Al Sadr.
13.51 Baghdad. DEMONSTRATIONS IN FIVE CITIES AGAINST US ASSAULT ON NAJAF. Demonstrators throughout Iraq called for the resignation of Premier Iyad Allawi. In one of the country's largest protests in Diwaniya, demonstrators threw stones at Allawi's party headquarters. Other protests took place in Baghdad, Kufa, Samawa and Fallujah.
13.38 Basrah. KIDNAPPED REPORTER, PLEA FROM AL SADR SPOKESMAN. "It is not likely that the kidnappers of the journalist are members of the Mahdi Army" said Sadr spokesman Sayed Hazem al-Araji, "but if they are, they have disobeyed orders from Moqtada al Sadr, who has explicitly forbidden the kidnapping of journalists."
12.15 Najaf. AL-SADR SPOKEMEN TELLS FOLLOWERS TO MARCH ON NAJAF. Al Sadr spokesman Sayed Hazem al-Araji urged the thousands of demonstrators in Baghdad to march on Najaf after Friday prayers.
12.03 Nassiriya. DEMONSTRATION SUPPORTING MOQTADA AL SADR. Approximately one hundred people demonstrated peacefully in Nassiriya in support of Moqtada al Sadr.
11.43 Fallujah. FOUR IRAQIS KILLED. A US air strike on Fallujah killed at least four Iraqis and wounded another three. According to sources, clashes are ongoing in the al-Askari quarter where mortar fire was heard.
11.06 Najaf. TRUCE IN EFFECT, AMBULANCES HAVE ENTERED CITY. A truce has been called in Najaf following days of bloody fighting between US troops and Moqtada Sadr's militiamen. The suspension of hostilities has allowed ambulances to enter the city to evacuate wounded Shi'ite guerrillas. "The governor of Najaf has ordered ambulances into the old city to evacuate the dead and wounded.” says Abu Ahmed al-Ameri, director of public health in Najaf.
11.00 London. KIDNAPPED JOURNALIST: "UK TELEGRAPH IS WORRIED." The UK paper Sunday Telegraph has expressed its "extreme concern" over the abduction of freelance journalist James Brandon. Brandon, says Editor-in-Chief Matthew d'Ancona, "was in Basrah and among other tasks was working on an article for Sunday's paper. We will continue to follow events with extreme concern."
10.57 Najaf. US FORCES SAYS WOUNDING OF AL SADR UNCONFIRMED. US troops conducting operations in Najaf cannot confirm that Shi'ite leader Moqtada al Sadr has been wounded. We have no information and we do not know where he is though there is a rumor that he is in the Mausoleum of Ali. says Capt. Carrie Batpson, Marine spokesperson.
10.37 Najaf. AL SADR SPOKESMAN PLEADS FOR LIBERATION OF BRITISH REPORTER.
10.37 Najaf. US COMMANDO KILLED. A member of the US Special Forces was killed in Najaf.
10.34 Doha. AL-JAZEERA, MISSILES HIT BAGHDAD AIRPORT. A violent missile attack was launched on Baghdad Airport says Arab TV al-Jazeerah. A number of Hawk missiles have exploded and dense smoke can be seen.
10.09 Basrah. KIDNAPPED JOURNALIST IS REPORTER FOR "SUNDAY TELEGRAPH". Journalist James Brandon was abducted from the 'Al-Diyafa' Hotel in Basrah where he had registered as 'James Andrew'.
10.03 London UK FOREIGN OFFICE CONFIRMS KIDNAPPING. The Foreign Office has confirmed the kidnapping of a British reporter in Basrah.
09.52 Baghdad. AL SADR IMMUNE FROM ARREST IF HE LEAVES THE TOMB OF ALI. Al-Jazeerah reports that Iraqi Interior Minister Hassan Al Naqib has promised immunity from arrest to al Sadr if he voluntarily leaves the tomb of Imam Ali located in the center of Najaf.
09.41 Kut. US LAUNCHES NIGHT RAID. IRAQIS KILLED. At lease seven Iraqis were killed and 34 wounded in a night raid on the Shi'ite city of al Kut, 180 km southeast of Baghdad.
09.37 Najaf. INTERIOR MINSTRY: SADR IS UNHURT AND IS INVOLVED IN NEGOTIATIONS. Moqtada Sadr has not been wounded and is conducting negotiations with the Iraqi authorities to abandon the Mausoleum of Imam Ali in Najaf. The announcement was made by Interior Minister Falah al Natib, who adds that Sadr "will not be touched" if he leaves the tomb peacefully with the Mahdi Army.
8.36 Baghdad. STREET DEMONSTRATION IN SUPPORT OF MOQTADA AL SADR IN BAGHDAD. Tens of thousands of people demonstrated this morning to protest against US military operations in Najaf. Demonstrators shouted, "Allawi and Saddam, the enemies of Iraq!"
08.30 Basrah. KIDNAPPED JOURNALIST IS REPORTER FOR SUNDAY TELEGRAPH. "I am a journalist, I'm only writing about events in Iraq...my name is James Brandon of the ‘Sunday Telegraph'". The kidnapped journalist is shown in a video broadcast in Basrah.
08.18 Basrah. POLICE IN UNIFORM AMONG KIDNAPPERS OF BRITISH REPORTER. The journalist was kidnapped from the Al-Diyafa Hotel by twenty armed and masked men of few of whom were in police uniform. The group demanded to see the hotel register. One of the intruders was heard to ask, "How dare you welcome foreigners in your hotel?” They then went upstairs and gunfire was heard. The left with a journalist, who was bleeding says a hotel employee.
08.04 Basrah. KIDNAPPERS THREATEN TO KILL JOURNALIST. Kidnappers in Basrah say they will execute their hostage within 24 hours unless the US stops its assault on Najaf.
07.55 Amman. JORDANIAN BUSINESSMAN FREED. Jamal Sadek al-Salaymeh, who was taken hostage a few days ago, has been released, says Jordanian Foreign Minister Ali Ayed.
07.35 Basrah. BRITISH JOURNALIST KIDNAPPED IN BASRAH. A British journalist was abducted from his hotel room in Basrah.
07.25 Najaf. SADR SPOKESMAN SAYS NO RESOLUTION REACHED. Negotiations continue but a resolution to the crisis has not been reached says al Sadr spokesman Ahmed al-Shaibani. The spokesman says the rebel Shi'ite cleric has been wounded.
06.49 Najaf. AL SADR WOUNDED NEAR CEMETERY DURING CLASHES. A third spokesman for Moqtada Sadr says the cleric has been wounded.
0.06 Najaf. AL SADR WOUNDED, CONDITION UNKNOWN. Radical Shi'ite leader Moqtada Sadr has been wounded during a US air strike on the holy city of Najaf, but his condition is unknown. Two spokesmen for al Sadr say the cleric has been injured. There is no confirmation from independent sources.