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A blog on the current crises in the Middle East and news accounts unpublished by the US press.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

Thursday, August 19, 2004

19 August 2004 Events in Iraq

Tony Blair has invited Iyad Allawi to speak at the annual Labour Party conference. Most Labourites find the idea revolting.

Take a look at this porcine, pinky-ringed moustached doppelganger for Saddam Hussein threatening Najaf with annihilation, Kassem Daoud:

21.40 Najaf. SADR TELLS MILITIA: "LEAVE THE SHRINE". Agence France Presse reports that Sadr has told his followers to turn the keys to the Shrine of Ali over to the Marjayia, to "prevent the entry of infidels."

21.00 Najaf. SMOKE SEEN IN CEMETARY. Dense columns of smoke rise from the cemetary of Najaf.

20.57 Basrah. FIRE IN BASRAH. The headquarters of the South Oil Co.,in Basrah have been set on fire.

20.55 Najaf. SHI'ITE POSITIONS BOMBED. US launches air strikes on positions of Shi'a insurgents.

19.30 Baghdad. MORTAR FIRE HITS US EMBASSY. A mortar round impacts the rooftop of the US embassy, slightly wounding two employees.

18.45 Najaf. RICE: "NAJAF IS A POLITICAL TEST FOR IRAQ". Condoleezza Rice tells NBC that Najaf is a "political test" for the Iraqi government.

18.35 The Hague. HOLLAND INCREASES SECURITY FOR CONTINGENT. Dutch Defense Minister Henk Kamp says Holland will increase security for its contingent and will deploy another 60 troops.

16.19 Baghdad. ALLAWI: LAST APPEAL TO SADR FOR SURRENDER. PM Iyad Allawi has issued a last appeal to al-Sadr to surrender.

15.58 New York. ANNAN, UN IS PRIME TARGET FOR TERRORISM. Kofi Annan affirms that the UN is a prime target for terrorism and promises punishment to those responsible for last year's bombing of the UN installation in Iraq.

15.48 Najaf. US WARPLANES BOMB NAJAF HOTEL. US warplanes bomb the Doha Hotel in Najaf.


15.11 Najaf. THREAT TO BLOW UP SOUTHERN OIL WELLS. Spokesman for Moqtada al-Sadr says saboteurs are ready to blow up southern oil wells.

14.59 Baghdad. KIDNAPPERS OF TURKISH HOSTAGE ISSUE 72-HOUR ULTIMATUM. Truckdriver Aytullah Gezmen, 23, is threatened with execution unless his employer, who delivers supplies US troops, ceases to do business in Iraq.

14.58 Najaf. SADR SPOKEMAN, WE WILL NOT TURN OVER KEYS TO SHRINE OF ALI. We will not turn over the keys to the Shrine of Imam Ali in Najaf to US forces because this would be a desecration which will shame us forever. Neither will we give them to Iraqi police or forces which have violated the sanctuaries and spilled Muslim blood., says spokesman for Moqtada Sadr.

14.56 Najaf. SADR MILITIA REPLIES TO GOVERNMENT: WE ARE HAPPY TO DIE MARTYRS. Moqtada Sadr's Shi'ite militia are happy to fight and die as martyrs of Iraqi troops launch assault to end the resistance in Najaf.

14.54 Najaf. ATTACK ON NAJAF POLICE BARRACKS, DEATHTOLL UPDATE. 8 police are dead and 30 wounded in an attack on a Najaf police barracks.

14.18 Dubai. HARD FIGHTING NEAR SHRINE. Hard fighting continues near the Shrine of Imam Ali, says al-Arabiya TV.

14.15 Najaf. UNAUTHORIZED RED CROSS CONVOY HITS MINE. The Red Cross convoy attacked in Najaf was unauthorized. The mission chief is recalled.

14.01 Najaf. MORTAR ROUNDS HIT POLICE BARRACKS, THERE ARE VICTIMS. 5 dead and 25 wounded in mortar attack on police barracks in Najaf.

13.58 Najaf. SADR REJECTS GOVERNMENT ULTIMATUM. Sadr spokesman Ahmed al-Sheibani says Sadr has rejected ultimatum.

13.43 Baghdad. MORTAR FIRE NEAR GREEN ZONE. No word on damage or casualties.

13.33 Najaf. RED CROSS CONVOY ATTACKED NEAR NAJAF. A Red Cross convoy was attacked in the town of Babilonia, shattering the windshields and slightly wounding an Iraqi driver.

13.27 Najaf. MORTAR ROUNDS HIT POLICE BARRACKS. Three mortar rounds strike police barracks.

13.09 Kirkuk. TRUCK DRIVER KILLED AND THREE OIL COMPANY GUARDS WOUNDED. An Iraqi truck driver was killed in Kirkuk by gunfire outside a camp of the multinational forces. In the same area, three oil company guards were wounded in an attack on an oil well.


12.42 Baghdad. INTERIM PARLIAMENT TO SIT ON 1 SEPTEMBER. Parliament willl open in Bagdad on 1 September. Of its 100 members, 81 were elected yesterday in controversy. Iraqi MP Fouad Maasum made the announcement.

12.34 Salahuddin. IMAM OF SADDAM'S BIRTHPLACE SUPPORTS GOVERNMENT. The Imam of Salahuddin in northern Iraq and the Imam of Tikrit, birthplace of Saddam Hussine announce support for the interim government and the US occupation.


11.46 Nassiriya. ITALIAN PATROL ATTACKED, NO CASUALTIES. An Italian patrol was attacked north of Nassiriya with Rpg. An H-H3F helicopter was dispatched to track the fleeing insurgents.

11.44 Baghdad. IF SADR DOES NOT PULL OUT, ATTACK IMMINENT. Minister of State Kasim is determined to force a military solution if Sadr does not leave Najaf.

11.15 Najaf. SADR CALLS ON GOVERNMENT TO ENTER PEACE TALKS. Moqtada Sadr has requested further talks on the details of the ceasefire brokered in Najaf.

10.34 Amman. ISLAMISTS THREATEN JORDANIAN GOVERNMENT ON INTERNET. An Islamist group threatens Jordan and its foreign residents if it does not stop sending trooops to assist US forces in Iraq.

10.29 Baghdad. NEW GOVERNMENT ULIMATUM TO SADR, "THESE ARE THE FINAL HOURS". Kassem Daoud, spokesman for the caretaker government, warns that "These are the final hours for Moqtada al Sadr.".

10.19 Baghdad. US SOLDIER KILLED YESTERDAY IN BAGHDAD. Soldier dies in combat in Sadr City.

09.40 Najaf. IRAQI GOVT SKEPTICAL ON SADR HOLDING UP HIS SIDE OF BARGAIN. The caretaker government accuses Moqtada Sadr of bluffing.

09.33 Doha. AL JAZEERA BROADCASTS VIDEO OF KIDNAPPED AMERICAN. A video of Micah Garen, held captive by the "Martyr's Brigade", is shown alive on Qatari TV.

09.32 Hilla. TWO POLISH TROOPS KILLED AND 5 WOUNDED. Two Polish soldiers were killed and five wounded when their vehicle went out of control after being attacked by insurgents.

09.30 Baghdad. SADR CITY OCCUPIED BY THE AMERICANS. Sadr city has been completely occupied by US troops in a massive asssault on Sadr militiamen.

09.00 Najaf. US MARINE KILLED IN NAJAF. A marine of the 1st Expeditionary Corps was killed in combat with Sadr militiamen.


08.16 Najaf. FIVE EXPLOSIONS. Blasts are heard near Shrine of Ali.


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