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A blog on the current crises in the Middle East and news accounts unpublished by the US press.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

Saturday, October 09, 2004

9 October 2004 Events in Iraq

22:41 London. Blair phones Bigley family. Prime Minister Tony Blair has phoned the family of Kenneth Bigley. Details of the conversation have not been revealed.

22:40 Anah. Al-Zarqawi claims credit for bombing. A group linked ot Abu Mousab al-Zarqawi has claimed credit for the bombing of an Iraqi National Guard recruiting center.

20:22 Baghdad. Mortar fire targets downtown. No details available

19:51 Fallujah. City ready to particpate in elections. Fallujah city representatives inform caretaker government that it will participate in the January 2005 elections says negotiator Khaled al-Jumaili.

19:50 Baiji. Turkish truckdriver kidnapped. A four-truck convoy came under RPG fire in Baiji, 200 km north of Baghdad. One truck caught fire, injuring the driver, who later required amputation of a leg. Another driver was kidnapped.

13:47 Baghdad. Government abandons pre-election census. The census scheduled for 12 October has been cancelled. Voters will present a ration card as ID at the polls.

13:24 Liverpool. 2 minutes of silence for Bigley. Liverpool observed a noontime moment of silence for Ken Bigley. A citywide day of mourning has been declared.

12:51 Baghdad. A powerful blast was heard in the direction of downtown Baghdad. Witnesses say white smoke was seen rising from the Green Zone.

12:04 Baghdad. Al Sadr militia disarms. An accord was reached with the caretaker government to end clashes in Sadr City between Moqtada al-Sadr's militia and US troops, says chief negotiator Karum al-Bakhati. The US has agreed to suspend air strikes on the quarter.

10:22 London. No confirmation of Bigley escape attempt before execution. London says it has nothing more to add.

09:50 Ramadi. Shootout with Marines. Two dead. A house-to-house search in the outskits of the city provokes armed clash.

09:34 London. Foreign Office does not confirm Bigley escape attempt.

09:21 Baghdad. Iraqi insurgents say Bigley had attempted an escape. According to rebel sources, Bigley eluded his kidnappers for 30 minutes before being recaptured in a field near Latifiya. Bigley was aided by one of his guards in his escape.

09:17 Baghdad. Bigley begs for mercy before execution. Maher Nazir of Reuters says he saw video in which Kenneth Bigley pleaded for mercy from his captors. Bigley was a 62 year-old British engineer kidnapped by a group linked to Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi.

08:00 Baghdad. New attempt to free French hostages. Gilles Gauthier, special envoy of the Quai d’Orsay, and Bernard Bajolet, French Ambassador to Iraq, were received by the Salafist Supreme Committee for Preaching of the Koran, the Faithful and Fatwa to reopen feelers towards the release of French reporters.

7:55 Washington. Paul Bremer says Bush right to invade Iraq.

7:30 Brussels. NATO accelerates mission. NATO begins a "concept evalution" of a training mission to Iraq under the command of US Gen. David Petraeus. Between 200 and 300 military trainers will be deployed to Iraq before the end of the year, accompanied by an unestablished number of guards for their safety and security.

7:15 New York. Judge Thomas Hogan rejects appeal and imposes jailtime sentence on NYT journalist Judith Miller for refusing to reveal her sources in the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame.

7:12 Paris. France to cooperate in Oil for Food investigation. Foreign Ministry spokesman Herve Ladsous says France will withhold nothing from independent commission of inquiry.

7:00 Rome. Vatican says it has evidence that Saddam was prepared to cooperate before war. Cardinal Renato Martino says Saddam agreed to cooperate with and rejoin the international community before war but that the US refused to give him time to do so.


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