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A blog on the current crises in the Middle East and news accounts unpublished by the US press.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

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

24 August 2004 Events in Iraq

23.59 Najaf. US TANKS POISED 20 METERS FROM SHRINE US tanks have moved close to the shrine of Ali in Najaf

20.48 Najaf. POWERFUL BLASTS ROCK CITY. Reuters reports explosions in Najaf.

19.51 Baghdad. GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCES OCTOBER CENSUS. Iraqi Minister for Planning Madhi al-Hafez announces October census if security situation permits.

19.22 –Amara. NUMBER OF VICTIMS CLIMBS IN CLASHES. According to hospital sources at least 12 persons, including three children, have been killed and 54 wounded in battles between British troops and the Mahdi Army.

19.20 Doha. AL JAZEERA, SILENCE ON ORIGIN OF BALDONI VIDEO. Al Jazeera refuses to supply details on origin of video.

19.18 Najaf. NEW US AIRSTRIKES As a final assault on the Shrine of Ali seems imminent, the US lauched a sunset airstrike using Apache helicopters.

18.59 Rome. BALDONI: ALL ‘007’ AVENUES OPENED. Italian intelligence says it is on the trail of kidnapped journalist Enzo Baldoni.

18.33 Baghdad. NO NEWS ON FRENCH JOURNALISTS. No news concerning French journalists Christian Chesnot of Radio France and Georges Malbrunot of Le Figaro, kidnapped last Friday in Iraq.

17.42 – VIDEO SHOWING BALDONI WORK OF PROFESSIONALS. The Al Jazeera video showing Enzo Baldoni was recorded by professionals.

17.35 – BRITISH TROOPS AND SHI’ITE MILITIA CLASH IN AMARA, 3 DEAD. Zahrawi Hospital reports that the Mahdi Army attacked a British Base at 4:00 pm local ttime 17.34 – BALDONI VIDEO, ITALIAN GOVERNMENT INFORMED BEFORE BROADCAST The Qatari television network 'Al Jazira' informed the Italian government of the delivery of the video before its broadcast.

17.20 – US CONFIRMS AIR STRIKE ON FALLUJAH. 17.19 - AL JAZEERA READS REPLY OF ITALIAN GOVERNMENT. Despite the ultimatum, Italy’s ambassador and contingent will remain in iraq.

17.15 - BALDONI TO WRITE BOOK ON IRAQI RESISTANCE. Enzo Baldoni says he is "in Iraq because I am writing a book on the iraqi resistance".


16.19 Najaf. SADR’S MEN SAY THEY ARE READY TO NEGOTIATE. Sadr spokesman Ali Smeisin says Sadr’s men willing to negotiate with government.

16.18 Baghdad. 48 HOURS ULTIMATUM FOR ENZO BALDONI. The group, “Islamic Army," gives Italy a 48-hour ultimatum to pull out of Iraq or journalist Baldoni will be executed.

16.04 Doha. AL JAAZERA BROADCASTS VIDEO SHOWING ENZO BALDONI. Al Jazeera has broadcast a videotape showing Italian journalist Enzo Baldoni, kidnapped 19 August near Najaf.

15.56 Doha. AL JAZEERA CEO: WE FIGHT FOR FREEDOM OF SPEECH. Our mission is to fight for freedom of expression, says Al Jazeera Director-General Wadah Khanfar.

15.51 Baghdad. AL SHALAN: ATTACK ON SHRINE TO COMMENCE. We have now completed our planning to liberate the sacred site of the Shrine of Alì now in the hands of the Mahdi Army, says Iraqi Defense Minister Hazim al-Shalan.

15.07 Warsaw. PUBLIC DISCONTENT RISES IN POLAND OVER PRESENCE OF CONTINGENT IN IRAQ. Public discontent is growing in Poland over the Iraq crisis. Marek Borowski of the Polish Socialdemocrats, part of the current governing coalition, has called for withdrawal of the Polish contingent.

15.02 Baghdad. GOVERNMENT REJECTS IDEA OF REGIONAL CONFERENCE ON NAJAF. Iraqi FM Hoshyar Zebari rejects Iran's proposal for a regional conference on Iraq. It's an internal matter which must be resolved according to the law and the sovereignty of the State. Iraqi rejects the idea of a international conference.

14.34 Baghdad. LEBANESE HOSTAGE FREED. Mohammad kidnapped a week ago has been set free.

14.24 Najaf. SADR WILL BE KILLED OR CAPTURED IF HE RESISTS. Iraqi Defense Minister Hazem al-Shaalan warns that the imam will be killed or captured if he resists the advance of Iraqi forces on the Shrine.


13.51 Washington. TORTURE, REPORT ACCUSES POLITICAL AND MILITARY OFFICIALS. Two separate, independent reports on prisoner abuse Abu Ghraib and elsewhere in Iraq, have issued the same conclusions: military and civilian officials within the Department of Defense are at least partially responsible for the violence.

13.49 Kirkuk. OIL EXPORTS FROM KIRKUK FIELDS TO RESUME. Iraq to restart pipeline transmission and to set up pipeline surveillance.

12.14 Najaf. NATIONAL GUARD READY TO "CLEAN OUT NAJAF VERY SOON". Najaf Governor Adnan al-Zorfi warns Sadr militia in Najaf.

11.54 Baghdad. RESPONSIBILITY FOR ATTTEMPT ON LIFE OF ENVIRONMENT MINISTER CLAIMED BY ZARWAQI. An Islamic web site attributes assassination attempt to Jordanian Abu Mussab al Zarqawi and his group. "Tawhid wal jihad".

11.47 Najaf. REBEL MISSILE DAMAGES SHRINE. US military claims a rebel rocket damaged the outer wall of the Imam Ali shrine in Najaf.

11.08 Najaf. DEFENSE MINISTER ISSUES ULTIMATUM: "SURRENDER NOW." Iraqi Defense Minister Hazim al-Shalaan issues ultimatum to rebels in Najaf."

10.34 Basrah. SHI'ITE STREET DEMONSTRATIONS: U.S. OUT OF NAJAF. A large number of Shi'a fighters marched in the streets of Basrah today, waving rifles and grenades, demanding the US leave Najaf. Demonstrators burned tires and built barricades in the streets.

10.26 Najaf. AID CONVOY ATTACKED, TWO KILLED. Iraqi gunmen attacked a truck and an ambulance transporting aid to Najaf, killing two. The two vehicles were attacked near Latifiya, south of Bagdad. Two corpses were observed in the ambulance.

10.20 Najaf. 6 HOMES DESTROYED NEAR MOSQUE, POPULATION FLEES. Six homes were destroyed as US tanks drew nearer to the Shrine. The population has decided to flee.

9.50 Najaf. IRAQI NATIONAL GUARD JOIN US TROOPS. The Iraqi National Guard has been deployed for the first time Najaf. An attack on the shrine is thought imminent.

8.44 Baghdad. ASSASSINATION ATTEMPT ON TWO MINISTER, 5 BODYGUARDS KILLED. Environment Minister Mrs. Mishkat Moumin and Education Minister Sami al-Mudhaffar survived an assassination attempt in two separate incidents this morning, as a carbomb and a roadside bomb went off, killing their bodyguards.

8.00 Baghdad. CARBOMB: BODYGUARDS FOR MINISTER OF EDUCATION KILLED. Four bodyguards died during an assassination attempt on Education Minister Sami al-Mudhaffar.

7.54 Baghdad. SUICIDE CARBOMB. Suicide car bomber targets Minister of Education.

7.28 Baghdad. US PATROL ATTACKED, SOLDIER KILLED. A US soldier was killed and two others wounded in an RPG attack.

7.22 Rome. NO NEWS FROM JOURNALIST ENZO BALDONI. Nothing has been heard from missing Italian journalist Baldoni.

7.07 Baghdad. CARBOMB TARGETS MINISTER. 2 DEAD, 3 WOUNDED. Education Minister Sami al-Mudhaffar was unharmed after an assassination attempt.

7.03 Najaf. AIRSTRIKE AND AC-130 TARGET REBELS. The US launched an airstrike on militants in Najaf as an Ac-130 overflew the zone.

7.00 Fallujah. US LAUNCHES NEW AIRSTRIKES ON CITY. US warplanes struck the southwest of the city during the night. Tanks later moved into the area.


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