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A blog on the current crises in the Middle East and news accounts unpublished by the US press.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

Friday, October 01, 2004

1 October 2004 Events in Iraq

22:51 Fallujah airstrike, three dead. Renewed airstrikes on Fallujah. Dense deployment of US bomber aircraft. Two buildings in the south of the city were struck. At least three are dead.

22:07 US denies statement by French mediator. The US military has catergorized statements from French MP Didier Julia as false. Julia, negotiating the release of French reporters Christian Chesnot and Georges Malbrunot, stated that the US bombardment of the hostage convoy has prevented their release and killed 6 convoy escorts.

21:37 Bodyguards of French reporters killed. Six persons charged with protecting the two French hostages were killed by American bombs, says French MP Didier Julia in a press conference in Damascus.

21:00 Al Jazeera: "US bombs hostage convoy." Qatari TV network al Jazeera broadcast an urgent dispatch this evening saying French MP Didier Julia states that the hostage convoy was bombed on while travelling to Syria. The two French reporters to be released survived the airstrike.

20:51 Mediator: "French reporters remain as hostages". French hostages are still held by their captors, says French MP Didier Julia. I believed the reporters would be freed today but that did not occur for security reasons and because a third party acting in the name of the French government was unable to put together the required sums of money.

20:35 French reporters, "Emissaries arrive with money". French MP Didier Julia, heading a private effort to release two kidnapped reporters, says he expects the journalists to be freed today. However he says that it may not happen for reasons of security and because of the dispatch of emissaries acting in the name of the French government carrying the ransom.

20:15 100,000 leaflets for Bigley Release. More than 100 thousand flyers with a plea from the family of hostage Ken Bigley we distributed in the mosques and in the streets of Baghdad.

19:11 Raffarin, incomplete information on hostages. French Prime Minister Raffarin says France has incomplete information on the hostages and asks for caution. Our first guess is that they have been released. However, the situation inside Iraq is particularly chaotic.

19:00 French hostages: mediator heads for Damascus. Mediator Philippe Brett stated to Radio Europe 1 in a phone interview that he was with the French hostages in Iraq en route for Damascus.

18:01 Damascus: French hostages expected this evening. Reporters Georges Malbrunot and Christian Chesnot are expected to be released and are awaited in Damascus.

17:53 Ulema and other groups request remains of reporter. The Committee of Iraqi Ulema, the League of Iraqi College Instructors and the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe requests the return of the remains of slain reporter Enzo Baldoni.

17:48 Roman Prosecutor may question Al-Rai al-Aab. Rome's public prosecutor may take a deposition from Kuwaiti newspaper publisher Ali al-Roz, who claims that a ransom was paid for the release of the Italian hostages.

17:16 37 Guerrillas captured in Samarra. 37 insurgents were killed and 100 captured during the US offensive to retake the city of Samarra during which one US soldier was killed.

17:01 Iraq, public schools to open tomorrow. Five million children are expected to attend the first day of school tomorrow, despite violence.

16:46 Italian NGO resumes activities in Iraq. ICS, an Italian NGO, has resumed its work in Iraq in Baghdad and inside the Sunni triangle. Operations had been suspended after the kidnapping of Simona Pari and Simona Torretta.

16:33 NY Post: "Italy has blood on its hands" The American tabloid, the New York Post, says Italy has blood on its hands for paying a ransom for the release of the Italian hostages. The tabloid claims that the ransom "places all Westerners in Iraq in danger.

15:42 Samarra, Iraqi trooops inside mosque. Iraqi security forces have taken control of the historic Golden Mosque in Samarra.

15:41 Ulema condemns massacre of children. Sunni cleric Abdel Ghafour al-Samarraï condemns yesterday's massacre.

15:06 Al Sadr approves French stance. A spokesman for radical Shia leader Moqtada al-Sadr has backed the stance taken by the French on a possible international peace conference on Iraq. The French insist on the presence of rebel groups at the table, including that of al-Sadr.

14:54 Samarra: death toll rises to 109.

14:50 Scelli: "Filming of hostage release not up to me." Red Cross presentative Maurizio Scelli says he was not responsible for the video recording of the Italian hostage release.

14:41 Unicef: Iraqi children in danger. Unicef says Iraq is one of the world's most dangerous places for children. Unicef Director General Carol Bellamy condemns yesterday's massacre in Baghdad.

14:07 Audio file with message from al-Zawahiri. Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama Bin Laden's right hand man, puts out call for resistance against the "crusaders" in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine and Cechniya.

13:51 Samarra: US soldier dies in battle.

13:14 French mediator: "I am with the hostages". French mediator Philippe Brett says he is with French reporters held hostage in Iraq.

12:11 Basrah, 8 die in tribal conflict. Four Iraqi police and 4 tribesmen were killed in clashes between tribes in Basrah. The incident occurred in Qourna, 8 km north of Basrah.

11:43 Samarra, death toll rises Hospital sources say 90 are dead and 180 wounded in the US assault on the city.

11:36 Iraqi police control city center in Samarra

11:12 Samarra, Turkish hostage freed. The US Army says it has freed a Turkish hostage in Samarra.

10:47 Sadr city, 12 die in clashes. At least 12 persons are dead in clashes between the Mahdi Army and US troops.

08:43 Samarra, 94 rebels killed.

06:57 Samarra, 20 dead.


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