Christmas Day: Events in Iraq.
Balad. An Iraqi was killled when a roadside bomb detonated prematurely.
16:15 Mossul. Homemade bomb blows up police van. A police van was blown up in Mossul. The driver had just dropped off Iraqi security forces at their base and was killed or kidnapped.
16:09 Ramadi. Rebels linked to al-Zarqawi captured. US Marines say Saleh Arugayan Khalil, known as Abu Obaida, and Bassem Mohammad Hazim, known as Abu Khattab, were captured between 8 and 12 December.
15:48 Baghdad. Christian churches empty. Only Our Lady of Salvation Church celebrated Christmas mass in Baghdad.
15:33 Khan al-Nus. Carbomb kills five. Five persons were killed in the blast of a carbomb meant for a US convoy in Khan al-Nus between Karbala and Najaf.
13:40 Baquba, Iraqi interpreter and wife ambushed and killed.
13:05 Najaf. Police accuse Syria for Najaf bombing. Najaf Police Chief Ghaleb al Jazairim blamed Syria for the recent bombing in Najaf, claiming a suspect confessed and named Syria as acting behind the scenes.
13:02 Ankara. Ransom demanded for kidnapped Turk. A kidnapped Turkish shipowner is being ransomed for $25 million, reported the Turkish private TV netwok NTV. Kahraman Sadikoglu was kidnapped in the port city of Umm Qass together with a ship captain and Sadikoglu's chauffeur and bodyguard. All four are Turkish. Sadikoglu is the CEO of International Marine Contractors, based in Dubai. His company was awarded a contract for $25 million for the salvaging of 19 sunken ships in a canal at Umm Qasr. Sadikoglu was about to be awarded a second contract for $90 million by the UN for the salvaging of other wrecks.
12:27 Kuwait City. Philippines Embassy car fired upon. Unknown gunmen opened fire on a car carrying a family which had diplomatic plates belonging to the Embassy of the Philippines.
12:18 Ankara. Two Turkish nationals kidnapped. A Turkish businessman and one of his employees were kidnapped in Iraq according to footage broadcast by the Turkish network NTV. The black and white footage shows a man who says in Turkish and in English that his name is Kahraman Sadikoglu and that he runs a firm operating in Basrah and Umm Qasr. A second man, introduced as Captain Ahmet, is an employee of Sadikoglu. "We were kidnapped with a group of four others 5 days ago because we did something bad in Iraq." The video was dated 23 December.
11:21 Baghdad. Three Iraqis killed. Three Iraqis were killed by a US patrol in west Baghdad. In north Baghdad, two others were killed by unknown gunmen.
10:40 Baghdad. EIght killed in explosion. Eight persons including the bomber were killed and 19 wounded yesterday in Baghdad. Another two bodies were recovered this morning. In total eight bodies were recovered: 5 women, two men and the bomber.
09:32 Mossul. Dozens arrested. US troops arrested 34 people in Mossul following the bombing of a US base on Tuesday which killed 22.
09:20 Baghdad. Death toll climbs in suicide bombing.
08:50 Baghdad. Blast caused by truck bomb. A fuel truck exploded in the Mansour district in west Baghdad. At least two are dead and 13 are wounded.
08:24 Baghdad. Powerful blast witnessed. A powerful blast was heard in the Mansur district. A dense column of smoke is seen rising from the scene. US troops have surrounded the area.