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A blog on the current crises in the Middle East and news accounts unpublished by the US press.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

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

December 15 Events in Iraq

Iraqi Defense Minister Hazem Shaalan slams Sistani's united slate. Shaalan says the united Shi'ite Sistani/SCIRI slate is "Iran's list of candidates" and will bring an Islamic dictatorship to Iraq if victorious at the polls. Shaalan also accuses Shit'ite candidate Hassan al-Shahristani of being a spy for Teheran.

Iraqi Justice Ministry learns of impending trial of Saddam's henchmen through the TV. Pacho Ibrahim Ali, a high-ranking Iraqi Justice Ministry official, says his ministry learned of decision to accelerate schedule for trials from the television.

Baghdad remobilizes Saddam Hussein's army. The caretaker government has invited former military personnel serving under Saddam Hussein to join the security forces. General Tawfik al-Yassiri explains that they will be put to work as truck drivers to deliver fuel and supplies.

00:28 Fini: Santoro executed. Italian Foreign Minister Gianfranco Fini says Santoro has been executed.

00:13 Salvatore Santoro did stint in prison in the UK on drug-related charges. Santoro was released in 1984.

00:07 Amman. Italian Embassy in Amman issued an Italian passport to Salvatore Santoro on December 6.

23:13 Hostage Santoro's family moved to Britain in 1961. Salvatore Santoro was born in Naples in 1952, but moved to West Bromwich, England, with his family in 1961

22:51 Charity denies Italian worked for them. The British "Charity for England and Wales", says it is unable to confirm that Santoro worked for the organization.

22:19 Washington. Berlusconi phones Italy.

21:59 Rome. Kidnapped Italian, government crisis unit intervenes.

21:53 Rome. Kidnapped Italian. Italian foreign minister Gianfranco Fini heads for office in middle of night.

21:51 Kidnappers of Italian post message to web. A previously unknown group has claimed credit for kidnapping of Italian.

21:27 Ramadi. Salvatore Santoro, 52, kidnapped in Iraq. A 52 year-old Italian working for the British NGO "Charity for England and Wales" is kidnapped near Ramadi.

17:49 Latifiyah. Bodies of three men and three women found in "triangle of death." The bodies of three men and three women found were found in Latifiyah, 40 km south of Baghdad. The victims were shot through the head and were not locals. They women are said to have had their throats slit.

17:35 Karbala, Sistani collaborator wounded. The explosion of a bomb near the tomb of Imam Hussein in the holy Shi'ite city of Kerbala killed eight persons and gravely wounded Sheik Abdel Mehdi Karbala'i, representative of Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani. Karbala'i is in intensive care for injuries to his legs.

17:20 Karbala, eight dead and thirty-two wounded. Police in Karbala confirm death of 8 persons and the wounding of 32 following the detonation of a bomb.

16:32 Baquba, bomb kills three. Three Iraqi civilians were killed by a homemade bomb along the roadside near Baquba, north of Baghdad.

16:02 Kerbala, 7 dead and dozens wounded in bombing.

14:33 Bagdad, girl and two Turkish truck drivers killed. An Iraqi girl and two Turkish truck drivers were killed over the last 24 hours in Baghdad. The truck drivers were ambushed on the road between Mossul and Balad. The trucks had been set on fire and their drivers burned to death. Meanwhile, a 5 year-old girl was killed in Samarra. The child, Mayssun Amer Mohammad, was struck in the head and the chest by bullets.

12:09 Karbala. Polish helicopter downed, three-man crew killed.

12:08 Baghdad. Electoral campaign begins. The first day of campaigning will begin tomorrow and will last six weeks, says Abed Hussein al-Hindawi, Chairman of the Elections Commission. 275 representatives to a constitutional assembly will be elected. More than 70 political parties are participating.

10:39 Kerbala, tax collector assassinated. The tax collector for the Province of Kerbala was assassinated this morning around 6:00 am local time in front of his home in Husseiniya, seven kilometers from Kerbala. The assassins got away.

10:23 Baghdad. Shalaan accuses Iran of terrorism. Iraqi Defense Minister Hazem Shaalan accused Iran of orchestrating terrorist attacks in Iraq, affirming that Iran is "the most dangerous enemy of Iraq and of all Arabs. The source of all terrorism in Iraq is Iran."

10:22 US soldier succumbs to wounds. After agonizing for 24 hours, a US solder wounded in an attack on his convoy yesterday south of Baghad expired. The soldier belonged to teh "COSCOM" unit and was killed as the convoy was travelling to the Kalsu military base.

10:19 Baghdad. Interior Ministry official kidnapped. General Fadel Sakrane, a high-ranking Interior Ministry official, was kidnapped by armed men wearing Iraqi National Guard uniforms. Sakrane was kidnapped outside his home in Taji, 15 km from Baghad, and taken to an unknown location.

09:37 New documents reveal prisoner abuse. Navy documents reveal that Iraqi prisoners were tortured with electric current. A military magistrate issued has issued punishment sentences of up to 15 months for the servicemen concerned.

09:34 Marine is killed in al-Anbar province. A marine of the First Expeditionary Corps was killed during a "security and stability operation" in al-Anbar Province.

09:32 "Chemical Ali" to be tried first. Alì Hassan Al Majid, known as "Chemical Ali" will be the first of Saddam's henchmen to be tried, says Iraqi Defense Minister Hazim al-Shalaan. The trial could start next week.

09:31 Attack south of Bagdad, 4 dead, 13 missing. Four police were killed and 13 others are missing after their convoy was attacked by guerrillas south of Baghdad. Another 20 police were wounded.


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