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A blog on the current crises in the Middle East and news accounts unpublished by the US press.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).

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

18 August 2004 Events in Iraq.

This should win marts and hinds: US trains in Israel for urban combat in Iraqi cities and then shoots up a schoolbus. More US troops die in so-called "stabilization and security operations" and Iraqi Defense Minister huffs and puffs, says he will blow the shrine down.

22.55 Baghdad. 50 SHI'ITE GUERRILLAS KILLED BY US TROOPS. US Army spokesman says 50 Shi'a insurgents were killed in a suburb of Baghdad.

22.50 Najaf. THREAT TO USA: "PULL OUT OF NAJAF OR WE KILL A HOSTAGE". Al Jazeera reports that a previously unknown group threatens to kill US hostage Micah Garen if the US does not leave Najaf within 48 hours.

21.30 Baghdad. GOVERNMENT TO SHI'A MILITIA: "LAY DOWN YOU ARMS AND LEAVE". The Iraqi Defense Minister has ordered Moqtada al Sadr and his militia to lay down their arms immediately. Sadr and his militias have been granted amnesty if they end their armed insurgency in Najaf and several other Iraqi cities.


19.40 Abu Ghraib. US TROOPS KILL 2 PRISONERS AT ABU GHRAIB. Two prisoners in Iraq's infamous Abu Ghraib prison were shot dead in "uncontrollable" prison disturbance.

19.15 Baghdad. PROVISIONAL NATIONAL ASSEMBLY VOTED IN. 1,300 delegates at the National Conference has elected an interim National Assembly which will end its term after the 2005 general elections.

18.35 Najaf. SADR SEEKS CEASEFIRE IN NAJAF. Radical Shi'ite leader Moqtada Sadr and his militias are ready to leave the Shrine of Ali if American forces pull away from sacred sites, says Ali al-Yassiri, Sadr's political liaison.

18.15 Najaf. FIGHTING CONTINUES. Despite a possible agreement with Moqtada al Sadr, gunfire is heard in the old city as US tanks patrol nearby.

18.10 Baghdad. US SOLDIER KILLED IN BAGHDAD. A US soldier was killed while on patrol in Baghdad.

16.53 Baghdad. SLATE OF CANDIDATES FOR AD INTERIM COUNCIL INVALID. Both slates of candidates for the Interim Legislative Council have been inclared invalid because of the insufficent number of women. Voting was to have taken place today.

16.49 Baghdad. TURKISH HOSTAGE RELEASED. Truck driver Mustafa Koksal has been released, says Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul. Koksal and his coworker Durmus Kumdereli were kidnapped by armed men 100 km south of Mosul.

16.20 New York. FIANCEE OF KIDNAPPED AMERICAN JOURNALIST MAKES PLEA TO ITALIANS. The fiancee of US journalist Micah Garen appeals to Italians for assistance in gaining his release.

14.56 Najaf. SADR SPOKESMAN EXPRESSES SURPRISE AT DEFENSE MINISTRY'S ULTIMATUM We are surprised by the declarations and threats by the Defense Minister because we had given our complete consent to the initiative proposed by the delegaton from the Iraqi National Conference, says Sadr spokesman Ahmed Chaibani in an interview with Al Jazeera.

14.53 Najaf. DELEGATION CAUGHT IN CROSSFIRE The delegation of the National Conference charged with delivering a message to al-Sadr was constantly under fire as they approached the Shrine of Ali, says delegation member Rajah al Uday.

14.39 Baghdad. DEPUTY PREMIER, TERRORISTS POSE A THREAT TO THE ENTIRE WORLD. These terrorists, who don't necessarily agree among themselves as to their objectives, are a danger to Iraq and for all humanity. To fight them is a collective duty from which no one is released., says Iraqi Vice Premier Burhum Ahmad Salih.

14.38 Mosul. CASUALTIES RISE IN MOSUL TO AT LEAST SEVEN. At least seven people are dead following an explosion of a mortar round in a Mosul marketplace. Another 10 people were wounded.

14.25 Hilla. MORTAR ATTACK ON POLISH BASE, WOUNDED. At least two Polish soldiers were wounded during a 10-minute mortar attack on Camp Babylon, the main base of the Warsaw contingent in Iraq.

13.59 Najaf. SADR ACCEPTS DELEGATION REQUESTS. Moqtada Sadr has accepted all the requests put forward by the National Conference to end the Najaf crisis.

13.57 Rome. NEW MESSAGE TO ITALY, "ZERO HOUR APPROACHES." "The time has come, zero hour approaches. We have prepared your coffins: say goodbye to life." The message is signed, "The Black Banners of Ribat."

13.39 Najaf. AL SADR EXPRESSES SURPRISE AT ULTIMATUM. Moqtada al-Sadr says he is surprised by the ultimatum from the caretaker government's defense minister.

13.38 Moscow. RUSSIA, ALL POLITICAL FACTIONS MUST BE BROUGHT TOGETHER. Russian Foreign Minister Serghiei Lavrov says it's necessary to bring together all of Iraq's political factions, [including opponents of colonial rule--Nur], to consolidate the creation of new Iraqi institutions.

13.24 Washington. TROOPS TRAINED IN ISRAEL. The US has denied a report in the Israeli press that troops to be deployed in Iraq train in Modìin, Israel.

13.21 Mosul. MORTAR HITS MOSUL MARKET: DEAD AND WOUNDED. Five people were killed and 20 wounded when a mortar round exploded in a market square.

13.01 Hilla. POLISH BASE UNDER MORTAR ATTACK. Polish press agency, 'Pap', reports that Chief of Staff Zdzislaw Gnatowski,says a mortar attack is underway against the Polish base in Iraq.

12.52 Berlin. GERMANY, SCHROEDER WANTS TO EXTEND ROLE IN IRAQ. Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder says Germany would like to extend its role in Iraq beyond the training of police and military. Schroeder is also ready to cancel a significate portion of Iraq debt but has excluded the deployment of German troops to the country.

11.27 Baghdad. MORTAR FIRE HITS FOREIGN MINISTRY IN BAGHDAD. Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari says a mortar rounded landed on the roof of the ministry.

11.08 Washington. RESERVIST SUES RUMSFELD FOR STOP LOSS. A US Army reservist is suing Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld for violating the time limit provided for in his contract.

10.46 Najaf. ULTIMATUM TO SADR, SURRENDER NOW. Iraqi Defense Minister Hazem al-Shaalan tellls al-Arabya TV that an all out attack on Najaf is in the final stages of preparation and that al Sadr has been ordered to give himself up.

10.40 Nassiriya. WOUNDED ITALIAN TRANSFERRED TO GERMANY. Carabiniere Vincenzo Cuccia is transferred to Germany for hospitalization.

10.38 Najaf. VIOLENT CLASHES BETWEEN SADR AND USA, CASUALTIES. Falah al-Muhana, director of Najaf's main hospital, says there are 29 among the dead and wounded.

09.54 Kut. FIVE STUDENTS KILLED BY US TROOPS IN AL KUT. Five students riding in a minibus were caught in a crossfire between US troops aiming at insurgents and were killed. Five others were wounded.

09.43 Jerusalem. US TROOPS TRAIN IN ISRAEL. US troops attend the 'Adam' training urban combat school,located near with town of Modìin in Israel.

09.36 Najaf. AL SADR REFUSES TO MEET DELEGATION: MISSION FAILS Shi'ite leader Moqtada Al Sadr says he was unable to reach the Shrine of Ali for talks.

09.33 Basrah. PIPELINE CLOSED, OIL PRODUCTION HALVED. South Oil Company has continued the shutdown of its southern oil pipeline.

09.26 Amara. PRO-SADR GROUP THREATENS PIPELINE SABOTAGE. A group linked to Shi'ite leader Moqtada Sadr says it set fire to an oil well in Amara and that it well set fire to others if US troops do not pull out of Najaf.

09.24 Najaf. RUMSFELD, ATTACK ON HOLY SHRINE UNLIKELY. Donald Rumsfeld has defined "improbable" any US attack on sacred shrines in Najaf.


09.22 Teheran. IRANIAN DELEGATION IN BAGHDAD. Teheran sends an official delegation to Baghdad to investigate the disappearance of an Iranian diplomat.

09.20 Najaf. CLASHES CONTINUE IN HOLY CITY Sporadic combat continues between US troops and al Sadr militiamen.


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