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A blog on the current crises in the Middle East and news accounts unpublished by the US press.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 31, 2004

31 August 2004 Events in Iraq

Four US generals to be put out to pasture, French-Russian-German summit, and bad day for Nepalese workers.

23.45 Paris. FRENCH HOSTAGES, DEADLINE PASSES IN SILENCE. The Arab League believes that the deadline was extended by 48, not 24 hours and that it is fixed for tomorrow evening.

22.45 Tripoli. KIDNAPPED JOURNALIST, APPEAL FROM GHEDDAFI. The Libyan leader calls upon the Iraqi people to “protect the French".

20.54 – ARAB LEAGUE: DEADLINE EXTENDED THROUGH TOMORROW. Amr Moussa, Secretary General of the Arab League, says kidnappers had granted a 48, not a 24, hour extension.

19.45 Paris. CHIRAC RETURNS TO PARIS. French President Jacques Chirac returned this evening to Paris after meeting in Sotchi (Russia) with German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and Russian President Vladimir Putin.


19.10 Paris. DEMONSTRATION FOR RELEASE OF HOSTAGES. Approximately 100 people demonstrated in front of City Hall in Paris at the invitation of Reporters Without Frontiers.

19.04 Baghdad. ALLAWI PROMISES TO RECONSTRUCT SADR CITY. Premier Iyad Allawi has promised several million dollars for the rebuilding of Sadr City.

19.00 Katmandu. NEPAL WANTS INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE TO EXECUTIONS. The government of Nepal wants the international community to punish those responsible for the execution of 12 Nepalese workmen.

18.14 Katmandu. MASSACRE OF NEPALESE, KATMANDU HAS NO CONFIRMATION. Nabin Bahadur Shresta, spokesman for the Foreign Minister, says massacre is not yet confirmed.

18.11 Paris. FRENCH TV WILL NOT BROADCAST VIDEO. Private TV network Tf1 will not rebroadcast the video of the hostages shown on al Jazeera.


17.22 Baghdad. IRAQI JOURNALISTS PLEAD FOR RELEASE OF FRENCH HOSTAGES. Shehab al-Timimi, head of the Association for the Defense of Journalists, makes plea on behalf of Iraqi reporters.

16.36 Baghdad. BAGHDAD ULEMA DENY RUMOR OF HOSTAGE RELEASE. Mohamed Bashar Al Faydy, member of the Baghdad Ulema, denies rumor that French journalists have been released.

16.33 Paris. FRENCH FOREIGN MINISTER DENIES IMMENENT RELEASE OF HOSTAGES. Spokesperson Cécile Pozzo di Borgo denies rumor on Al-Arabiya TV.

16.29 Baghdad. ULEMA GO LIVE TO PLEA FOR RELEASE. Al Jazira and Al Arabiya carry live plea for the lives of French Journalists by the Baghdad Ulema.

16.23 Baghdad. FRENCH INTERIOR MINISTER VILLEPIN: "NO COMMENT". De Villepin takes no questions from press as talks end with Imam Dalil Boubakeur of the Paris Mosque.

15.59 Rome. ITALIANS TAKE LEGAL ACTION TO OBTAIN BALDONI VIDEO. The Qatar authorities are asked to seize video of Baldoni from Al Jazeera.


15.24 Baghdad. 110 US TROOPS DIE SINCE TURNOVER OF SOVEREIGNTY. Los Angeles Times reports 974 US troops have died in Iraq, 836 after May 1, 2003 when George W. Bush declared "Mission Accomplished."

13.55 Baghdad. NEPALESE HOSTAGES: "THIS IS THE FATE OF TRAITORS". We send this message to the Nepalese government and the like, tentacles of Zionism and Christianity... that which you see is the fate of treasonous agents, spies...we are afraid of nothing; those who remain, go back home rather than see your remains sent back in coffins, providing there are remains of the accursed corpses.... This is the text at an Islamic web site accompanying the images of the corpses of 11 kidnapped Nepalese and one beheading from the Ansar-al Sunna Army.

13.33 Baghdad. NEPALESE HOSTAGES: GROUP CLAIMS CREDIT FOR EXECUTIONS. Ansar Al-Sunna claims credit for beheading of 12 Nepalese hostages. We turn our eyes to the Islamic nation from east to west - there is no doubt that the wrongs inflicted by the enemies of Allah oblige Muslims to use the language of Jihad.

13.05 Baghdad. NEPALESE HOSTAGES, ONE CORPSE IS SHOWN BEHEADED WHILE OTHERS ARE BULLET-RIDDEN. The Ansar al-Sunna Islamic group displays images at an Islamic website.

13.01 Karachi. PAKISTANI ISLAMIC PARTY: "FREE THE FRENCH REPORTERS". Qazi Hussain Ahmed, the leader of Jamaat-i-Islami, Pakistan's largest Islamic party, issues plea to kidnappers to release French hostages.

12.50 Baghdad. NEPALESE HOSTAGES: PHOTO OF BEHEADING TO APPEAR ON WEBSITE. An Islamic website announces it will publish the images of the executions.

12.45 Baghdad. VIDEO SHOWS NEPALESE HOSTAGES ALIVE. On 28 August an Islamic web site had a video showing images of the hostages alive.

12.37 Rome. ITALIAN FOREIGN MINISTER "WE ARE WORKING TO OBTAIN THE REMAINS". Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini says Italy is working to obtain the remains of Enzo Baldoni.


12.10 Paris. FRENCH INTERIOR MINISTER VISITS PARIS MOSQUE. Interior Minister Dominique de Villepin has been invited by Imam Dalil Boubakeur this afternoon to the Paris Mosque to "unite the efforts of the Muslim community in France" to gain the release of the French hostages in Iraq.

12.07 Teheran. IRANIAN GOVERNMENT CONDEMNS KIDNAPPERS. Iran has condemned the Islamic Army in Iraq.

11.31 Paris. CHIRAC: "WE WILL DO EVERYTHING TO OBTAIN THE RELEASE OF THE FRENCH HOSTAGES". Chirac, in attendance at a French-Russian-German summit in Sotchi, says every effort is being made to free hostages.

11.28 Cairo. FRENCH FOREIGN MINISTER IN TALKS WITH JORDANIAN FM. After stops in Baghdad and Cairo, French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier met with his Jordanian colleague Marwan el Muasher, whom he as asked to intervene with Iraqi tribal clans to seek the release of Georges Malbrunot and Christian Chesnot.


10.57 Strasbourg. EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT SIGNS PETITION TO FREE FRENCH HOSTAGES. 160 European MPs have signed a petition circulated by Dutch Socialist representative Thijs Berman demanding the immediate release of the French hostages.

10.51 Baghdad. CHIRAC, PUTIN AND SCHROEDER AT SUMMIT IN RUSSIA. The three are meeting at the Black Sea resort of Sotchi.

10.31 Ramallah. HAMAS PLEADS FOR RELEASE OF HOSTAGES. Hamas of Palestine pleads for the release of French hostages Christian Chesnot and Georges Malbrunot.

10.22 Baghdad. AL SADR: "FREE THE FRENCH HOSTAGES". Radical Shi'ite leader Moqtada al Sadr pleads for release of hostages though an interview with a spokesman, Sheik Youssef al-Nasseri on Al Jazeera.

10.18 Baghdad. FRENCH GOVERNMENT: "CONTACTS AND INITIATIVES IN PROGRESS". French Minister of Culture Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres says there is some progress.

10.00 Strasbourg. NEW PLEA FROM EU PARLIAMENT PRESIDENT. Incoming European Parliament President Josep Borrell pleads for release of French hostages in the name of the EU.

9.45 Kirkuk. HIGHER EDUCATION OFFICIAL The Director-General of Higher Education in Kirkuk, Ibrahim Ismail Abdullah, was killed this morning when gunmen opened fire on his car. His bodyguard was seriously wounded.

9.00 Baghdad. NEW CLASHES SADR CITY. New clashes between Moqtada Al Sadr's militiamen and US troops.

7.55 Fallujah. MANY INSURGENTS DIE IN COMBAT IN FALLUJAH. Insurgents attack a US outpost in the northeast part of the city with mortars and RPGs. Tanks then attacked the rebels.

7.35 Washington. TORTURE, CAREER ENDS FOR FOUR US GENERALS. Ricardo Sanchez and three other generals are indirectly linked to torture at Abu Ghraib and will be charged with crimes.

7.30 Paris. RAFFARIN GOVERNMENT IN EMERGENCY MEETING. French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin met this morning in Matignon Palace after ultimatum for hostages is extended.


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