Nur al-Cubicle

A blog on the current crises in the Middle East and news accounts unpublished by the US press. Daily timeline of events in Iraq as collected from stories and dispatches in the French and Italian media: Le Monde (Paris), Il Corriere della Sera (Milan), La Repubblica (Rome), L'Orient-Le Jour (Beirut) and occasionally from El Mundo (Madrid).

Monday, August 16, 2004

16 August 2004 Events in Iraq

22.53 Doha. IRAQI INTELLIGENCE OFFICER KIDNAPPED. Secret agent Osama Abdel Jabbar has been kidnapped by a group of insurgents, says al-Jazeera.

22.22 Doha. IRAQI INTELLIGENCE OFFICER KIDNAPPED. Al Jazeera broadcasts video of hostage with captors, the Brigade for the Defense of Holy Shrines.

22.21 New York. PLEA FOR HOSTAGE FROM FINANCEE. I ask the kidnappers of Micah Garen, who only performed his work as an independent journalist in order to defend Iraq archeological heritage, says financee Helene Carleton.

21.00 Baghdad. POLICE RELEASE ARAB JOURNALIST, THREATEN OTHERS WITH ARREST. Iraqi police freed al-Arabiya reporter Ahmed al-Saleh.

20.41 Rome. ITALIAN GOVERNMENT SUMMONED TO REPORT TO PARLIAMENT The opposition whip of the Italian lower house, Luciano Violante, has requested the Speaker, Pier Ferdinando Casini, "to examine the possibility of having the government report on the situation in Iraq and to start up an Italian initiative within the European Union to mediate the tragic situation in Iraq".

20.25 Samarra. NATIONAL GUARD COMMANDER ASSASSINATED. The Samarra commander of the Iraqi National Guard, Ihsan al-Saji, was murdered by assassins together with four body guards.

20.13 Baghdad. KIDNAPPED JOURNALIST WAS IN BAGHDAD ON 12 AUGUST. American journalist Micah Garen was in Baghdad on 12 August and met with Italian television journalist Pino Scaccia. Scaccia said, He came around on Thursday afternoon with his interpreter and offered me some photos. He didn't want to leave me his cellphone number or his e-mail, but I gave him my contact information. We agreed to meet again in a couple of hours but I never heard from him again.

20.08 Dili. CARDINAL BELO: DIPLOMACY IS NOT ENOUGH, THE CHURCH MUST DO MORE. Cardinal Carlo Belo, 1996 Nobel Peace Prize winner and East Timor independence activist, urges church to do more to resolve the Najaf crisis.

19.40 Najaf. CONFERENCE DELEGATION POSTPONES VISIT. The dispatch of a 50-person delegation to Najaf is postponed until tomorrow. At 8:00 pm today local time, explosions and machine gun fire was heard in the city center.

19.20 Baghdad. ONE SYRIAN AND TWO LEBANESE HOSTAGES RELEASED. Three truckdrivers, Osama Issa, Taha al-Jundi and Khaldun Osman, were released. They had been kidnapped in early August in west Baghdad.

19.05 Baghdad. SHI'ITE GUERRILLA DESTROYS US TANK IN SADR CITY. Moqtada al-Sadr's militiamen took out a US tank with a direct RPG hit, setting it on fire.

18.25 Teheran. IRANIAN GOVERNMENT WARNS BAGHDAD OVER DIPLOMAT. Tension grows between Iran and Iraq following the disappearance of an Iranian diplomat.

18.00 Mosul. TWO TURKISH TRUCKDRIVERS KIDNAPPED SOUTH OF MOSUL. Two Turkish truck drivers were kidnapped while four others escaped as they left a restaurant.

17.50 Baghdad. INTERIOR MINISTER WANTS PATROLS FOR FRONTIER WITH IRAN. 600 border agents have been assigned to the Iranian border. Defense Minisgter Hazim al-Shaalan says Iran is the greatest enemy of Iraq, and accuses Teheran of interference and infiltration of Iraqi institutions.


16.55 Najaf. TWO THOUSAND PROTESTERS FORM HUMAN SHIELD FOR NAJAF MOSQUE. Two thousand people have formed a human shield around the Imam Alì Moque in Najaf.

15.45 Najaf. SHI'ITE MILITIA SABOTAGES OILWELL. The well, set afire yesterday, is near Amara.

15.40 Nassiriya. ITALIAN COMMAND, GAREN WAS INFORMED OF RISKS He was with us until 11 August, says Capt. Ettore Sarli - then he handed back his camp ID card. He travelled between Baghdad and Nassiriya...we told him more than once not to travel without an escort. When asked about the ambulance incident Capt. Sarli said there was no rancor toward Garen.

15.20 Baquba. SIBLINGS KILLED BY REBEL ARTILLERY. A six year-old boy and girl were killed this morning in Baquba by a mortar shell intended for the US base. Four other family members were wounded.

15.10 Nassiriya. ITALIAN COMMAND, WE DID NOT ASK GAREN TO LEAVE. American Micah Garen was not asked to leave Camp Mittica, the Italian base where Garen has been living since the end of June. The Director of the Department of City Archeology, Abdel Amir al Hamdani, told Agence France Presse that the Italian military asked him to leave after he took a photo of an ambulance that had been machine-gunned by the Italians, killing three people.

14.45 Fallujah. ONE IRAQI KILLED AND SEVENTEEN WOUNDED. Hospital sources say US tank cannon killed one Iraqi and wounded17 others.

14.30 Suwayrah. FIVE UKRAINIAN SOLDIERS KILLED. Five Ukrainians were killed near As Suwayrah, in the central Iraqi province of Wasit.

12.50 Stockholm. SADDAM'S COUSINS GRANTED ASYLUM IN SWEDEN. Two of Saddam's cousins sought for capture by US troops in Iraq have been granted asylum in Sweden.

11.35 Najaf. FRESH CLASHES. Sporadic clashes are occuring in Najaf between Moqtada Al Sadr's militia and US troops.

11.05 Najaf. SADR READY FOR TALKS. Radical Shi'ite cleric Moqtada Al Sadr is ready for negotiations, says spokesman Mohammad al Shibani.

11.00 Baghdad. CONFERENCE TO SEND DELEGATION FOR TALKS WITH SADR. The national Iraqi conference which opened yesterday in Baghdad will send a deletation to Najaf for talks with Sadr. "We reject the presence of troops of any kind and we want to see the end of this military presence which threatens the state and creates a state within a state.", says Shi'ite scholar Hussein al-Sadr.

10.45 Latifiya. POLICE STATION ATTACKED: TWO KILLED. Armed militants attack a police station in Latifiya, 50 km south of Baghdad. Two militants were killed and four police wounded. The entrance to the structure was demolished as well as a police car.

10.32 Baghdad. 19 IRAQIS DIE IN 24 HOURS. Iraqi Health Ministry official Saad al Ameli says 19 Iraqis have been killed and another 119 wounded in the last 24 hours.

10.30 Vatican City. VATICAN OFFERS MEDIATION IN NAJAF. Vatican Secretary of State Angelo Sodano says the Pope is willing to sponsor negotiations.

09,40 Najaf. THREE US TROOPS KILLED. Three Marines were killed yesterday in Najaf.

09,20 Nassiriya. KIDNAPPED JOURNALIST IS AN AMERICAN. Nassiriya's Vice Governor, Adnan al-Sharifi, has confirmed that kidnapped journalist Micah Garen, founder of Four Corners Media, was kidnapped in Nassiriya.

08,30 Nassiriya. FRENCH JOURNALIST KIDNAPPED. Al Jazeera says a French journalist was kidnapped without further details. There is no confirmation.

07,15 Baghdad. EXPLOSIONS ROCK CITY. Several explosions were heard this morning in Baghdad near the Green Zone.

05.50 Moscow. RUSSIAN DEFENSE MINISTER PROPOSES INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE. Defense Minister Serghiei Ivanov has again put forward the idea for an international conference on Iraq saying that neighboring Arab countries and Iraqi insurgents should participate in order to end the violence.

05.06 Paris. REPORTERS WITHOUT BORDERS PROTESTS EXPULSION OF JOURNALISTS FROM NAJAF. Reporters Without Borders protests the press blackout in Najaf following the expulsion of newspaper and television reporters from the city by Iraqi police.


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