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A blog on the current crises in the Middle East and news accounts unpublished by the US press.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, September 28, 2004

28 September 2004 Events in Iraq

02:45 Rome. Simona Pari debriefed on hostage ordeal by Special Prosecutor Pietro Saviotti

02:44 Rome. Simona Torretta debriefed on kidnapping by Special Prosecutor Franco Ionta

02:41 Baghdad. Kidnappers present candy and embroidered abayas to Italian hostages. Simona Torretta and Simona Pari receive gifts from kidnappers at end of ordeal.

02:25 Rome. Italian hostages were not separated. Simona Torretta and Simona Pari were held together during 21-day ordeal.

01:44 Rome. Berlusconi celebrates in Piazza Navona. Silvio Berlusconi celebrates hostage release at sidewalk cafe 'Tre Scalini' in Piazza Navona with a 'gelato'.

00:43 Rome. Pari and Torretta smiling and relaxed.

00:10 Rome. Pari and Torretta flown by helicopter to Rome police barracks.

23:53 Baghdad. Released Iraqi hostages remain in Baghdad. Iraqi engineer Raed Ali Abdul Aziz and NGO worker Mahnaz Bassan, kidnapped along with the two Italian NGO workers, remain in Iraq.

23:46 Rome. "We were treated with respect." Simona Torretta tells journalists that she was always treated with respect during kidnapping ordeal.

23:42 Paris. French Foreign Minister not aware of any deal for release of French reporters. French FM says he has no information on possible deal with kidnappers as reported by al-Arabiya TV.

23:22 Rome. Pari and Torretta arrive in Rome. Silvio Berlusconi boards plane as doors open.

23:14 Rome. Hostage plane arrives at Ciampino Airport. Delegation of Italian government officials await released Italian hostages: Premier Silvio Berlusconi, Vice Premier Gianfranco Fini, Undersecretary of State Gianni Letta, Rome Mayor Walter Veltroni, leftist leader Francesco Rutelli and Rome Prefect Achille Serra.

23:09 London. UK, silence on release of British hostage. Neither BBC or SkyNews have information on the release of Bigley.

22:55 New York. Kofi Annan satisfied at hostage release. UN Spokesman Fred Eckhard says Annan relieved, desires release of remaining hostages.

22:53 London. Al-Zarqawi Group promises Bigley will be released. Tawhid wal Jihad says it will release Kenneth Bigley.

22:51 Dubai. Deal for release of French hostage. Al-Arabiya reports deal reached for release of French reporters.

22:45 Dubai. Al Arabiya, last 2 Egyptian hostages released. The last two kidnapped employees of Orascom Telecom (OT) have been released.

22:44 Rome. Crowd of journalists await return of Italian hostages at Ciampino Airport.

22:24 Paris. French reporters to be released soon. Italian Muslim group in mission to Baghdad say French reporters will be released soon by their kidnappers.

22:20 Paris. French negotiator: deal struck for release of hostages.

22:18 Doha. Frattini on Al Jazeera, thanks Arab world. Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini thanks Arab world for hostage release on Al Jazeera

22:14 Rome. Boniver, no information on ransom payment. Italian Deputy Foreign Minister Margherita Boniver says she has no information that a ransom was paid.

22:11 Rome. Bertinotti: "If they paid a ransom, good for them!" Italian Communist leader Fausto Bertinotti says ransom payment no surprise.

22:02 Rome. SkyTg24 interviews released Iraqi hostage. Italian TV network interviews Raad Ali Abdul Aziz, kidnapped along with Italian NGO workers.

21:53 Rome. Mantovano: "Ransom? Utmost discretion." Italian Deputy Minister of the Interior Alfredo Mantovano says talk of ransom could compromise hostage release.

21:21 Baghdad. Web site announces Bigley release. The Islamic web site 'Al Qalah' says UK hostage Bigley to be released.

21:15 Kuwait. Newspaper Rai al-Aam: "Million dollar ransom paid" Publisher Al Rooz says reliable sources tell him ransom was paid for hostage release.

20:50 Rome. Widow of Enzo Baldoni: "We have nothing to say." Giusy Bonsignore, surviving spouse of executed hostage Enzo Baldoni, reserves comment on hostage release

20:48 Rome. Italian mosques to celebrate hostage release. Aboulkheir Bregheiche says mosques throughout Italy will give thanks during Friday prayers for hostage release.

20:46 Paris. Chirac expresses contentment at hostage release. French President Jacques Chirac sends note to Berlusconi expressing immense pleasure at hostage release.

20:18 Baghdad. Mahnaz goes home in taxi. "They released me in a Baghdad street at 7:30. I hailed a cab and went home." Iraqi NGO worker Mahnaz Bassam, kidnapped along with Italian women, returns home safely.

20:13 Baghdad. Representative of Italian Muslim organization remains in Baghdad to recover Baldoni remains. Mohamed Nour Dachan of the Union of Islamic Communities in Italy will attempt to recover the remains executed hostage Enzo Baldoni.

20:10 Milan. Celebration in Piazza Duomo. Milanese invited to celebrate hostage release in historic downtown square.

20:10 Rome. Father of Enzo Baldoni: "They were luckier than my son."

20:09 Rome. Fassino asked if ransom paid. Italian Socialist politician Piero Fassino says he is unaware if ransom paid.

20:05 Rome. Coliseum in Rome illuminated to celebrate release of Italian hostages.

20:00 Baghdad. Patriarch of Baghdad confirms mediation of church. The Chaldean Patriarch of Baghdad, Emmanuel Delly, says church participated in hostage release effort.

19:57 Rome. Imam of Centocelle Mosque visits hostage's family. Imam Ben M. Mohamed joins Catholic priests in visit to family of Simona Torretta.

19:56 Rome. Roman Jewish community celebrates. Riccardo Pacifici says Rome's Jewish community celebrates hostage release.

19:55 Rome. Italian Islamic community relieved.

19:52 Rome. SkyTg24 reports ransom paid for hostage release.

19:45 Rome. Red Cross to evacuate Iraqis requiring medical treatment. The Italian Red Cross will fly out 15 patients tomorrow for treatment in Rome. The flight is thought to be part of the hostage release deal.

19:41 Rome. White House welcomes news of hostage release.

19:32 Rome. Prodi, satisfaction and joy. EU Commission President Romano Prodi welcomes news of hostage release.

19:31 Rome. Ciampi thanks King of Jordan. President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi thanks Jordan's King Abdallah for his role in the hostage release.

19:24 Doha. Al Jazeera broadcasts hostage release.

19:23 London. Amnesty International pleased with hostage release.

19:14 Strasbourg. EU, Javier Solana welcome news of hostage release.

18:54 Vatican City. Navarro, Pope 'extremely happy' at hostage release.

18:48 Rome. Italian Senate, Berlusconi considered special forces raid. Berlusconi tells Italian body that he dismissed idea of raid to free Italian hostages as too risky.

18:38 Rome. Boniver: big relief.

18:30 Baghdad. Three Egyptian hostages released.

18:28 Rome. Hostage release celebrated with traffic jam.

18:25 Rome. Italian Red Cross recognized by Italian Parliament in hostage release effort

18:22 Rome. Berlusconi thanks all the Arab governments of the Middle East for assistance in gaining hostage release.

18:22 Rome. Berlusconi says a series of 16 separate negotiations was required for release of hostages.

18:11 Rome. Berlusconi convokes both houses of Parliament.

18:05 Rome. Iraqi hostages released.

18:01 Rome. Italian hostages veiled and released in separate locations.

18:00 Rome. Berlusconi says hostages released to Red Cross.

17:56 Rome. Italian leftists rejoice but want reexamination of Italian troop presence in Iraq.

17:49 Baghdad. InterSOS confirms: Manhaz is free.

17:37 Doha. Al Jazeera says Italian hostages are free. Al Jazeera reports kidnapped Italian NGO workers Simona Pari and Simona Torretta have been released.

17:35 Baghdad. Hackers attack al-Zarqawi site. Site depicts Linux penguin with machine gun.

16:39 Rome. Berlusconi thanks King of Jordan. Silvio Berlusconi thanks King Abdullah for help in hostage negotiations.

16:18 Baghdad. Dachan mediates release. The President of the Union of Islamic Communities in Italy, Mohamed Nour Dachan, is in Baghdad to meet with religious leaders and to pursue release of hostages.

16:07 Baghdad. Egyptian hostages. Release of telecom engineer Ali Makar is confirmed.

16:00 Mosul Turkish truck driver killed. A truck driver delivering fuel to US troops is ambushed near Mosul. The body of Nizamettin Bilir, 46 was returned to his home in Hatay, Turkey. So far 30 Turkish truck drivers have been killed or wounded in Iraq.

14:45 Ramadi. Suicide attack on US convoy. Suicide bomber attacks convoy of American SUVs.

13:45 Strasbourg. Josep Borrell, "Free all the hostages." EU Parliament President Josep Borrell wants to see all hostages in Iraq released.

13:43 Najaf. Two policemen killed. Unknown gunmen kill police and escape in car.

13:39 Rome. Berlusconi meets King of Jordan in Rome.

13:29 Rome. Ciampi, "We will combat terrorism with determination". Italian President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi wants to wipe out 'plague' of terrorism.

13:26 Strasbourg. EU ready to back with elections in Iraq. Emma Udwin, spokesperson for Chris Patten. says EU will support January elections.

13:24 Rome. Frattini, "Gratitude to our Arab friends." Italian FM Franco Frattini publishes a thank-you in the major daily newspapers of Amman, Cairo, Baghdad and Beirut.

13:08 Kuwait. Kuwaiti press: Hostages to be freed after payment of $1 million ransom. Kuwait daily 'Al Rai Al Aam' says one-half of million dollar ransom has been paid to free Italian hostages.

12:59 Baghdad. Iraqi Ulema says Italian NGO workers may have been kidnapped by criminal gang.

11:50 Baghdad. Arrest for massacre of Nepalese. Al-Jabburi is thought to be the leader of Ansar al-Sunna which claimed responsibility for massacre of 12 Nepalese.

11:45 Paris. Chirac insists on conditions for conference. French President Jacques Chirac says Powell's proposal for peace conference is "useful" but warns that an agenda must be approved before meeting. The Bush administration wants to organize an October conference on Iraq in Cairo.

11:40 Baghdad. Iraqi forces arrest Iranian spy. Iraqi daily al-Furat says Nashaat Ali Al Hussein has been spying for Teheran.

11:26 Baghdad. Four Egyptian and two Iraqi hostages released. Kidnapped employees of cell phone company Iraqna are released.

10:36 Basrah. 2 British soldiers killed.

10:26 Baghdad. Man linked to Al Qaeda arrested. Ansar al-Islam leader Mohammad al-Jabburi has been arrested by US troops.

10:09 Baghdad. Bomb blast kills one, wounds another in Baghdad business district.

10:04 Baghdad. Explosions in downtown Baghdad

09:46 Baghdad. Clashes in Sadr City. US launch air strike and assault on Sadr City.

07:24 Fallujah. US air strike on Fallujah, 3 dead

06:39 Baghdad. Two Egyptians freed. Two kidnapped employees of Orascom released.

06:36 Beirut. Al Khatib dies in prison. Salafist leader Ismail Mohammad al-Khatib dies during incarceration in Beirut.

06:35 Amman. King of Jordan travels to Rome. King Abdullah makes unannounced visit to Italy.


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