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A blog on the current crises in the Middle East and news accounts unpublished by the US press.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, December 07, 2004

December 7 Events in Iraq

Ottawa. US killed innocents in Iraq. A witness testifying in the asylum case in Canada for deserter Jeffrey Hinzman says their unit killed more than 30 innocent Iraqi civilians in two days in Baghdad in April 2003. Sgt. Jimmy Massey tells a Canadian immigration panel that the unit opened fire on four cars which did not come to a halt, killing the innocent occupants inside. He also testified that he saw US soldiers shoot down unarmed protesters.

CENTCOM: General John Abizaid tells the Washington Post that US forces may reduce their number of patrols following the Iraqi elections in order to devote more time to training Iraqi Army recruits.

Hawija. US military says it has arrested a rebel leader. US troops have arrested a rebel leader in Hawija, west of Kirkuk, along with several other individuals, including members of the police and Iraqi National Guard, suspected for working for the insurgency

Baghdad: Sunni parties to participate in elections. The Islamic Party and the National Democratic parties say they will participate in the January elections, despite their desire for a postponement. President Ghazi al-Yaouar says he will head a list of candidates to be dubbed, "Iraqiyun" (Iraqis).

Washington: Iraqi ministers denounce assistance to rebels by neighbors. The Iraqi Minister of Public Works, Mrs. Nesrine al-Barwari, complained that neighboring countries are letting foreign fighters through their porous borders into Iraq to combat US trooops. Mahmud Farhane Othman, Minister of State for a Civil Society, stated that Iraq's neighbors are hurting Iraq while Transport Minister Louei Hatim Sultan al-Aris insisted that ex-Ba'athists and foreign fighters are determined to start a civil war. All three believe that the upcoming elections will be successful is there is a 60% turnout.

Germany uncovers rebel network operating in Europe. Germany has charged a 30 year-old Iraqi citizen, Lokman M., with recruiting fighters in Germany for Iraq. The suspect is believed to be an Ansar al Islam leader.

Netherlands: Dutch industrialist suspected of suppying poison gas to Saddam. 62 year-old Frans Van Anraat, who is believed to have sold precursor agents for mustard gas and neurotoxins to Saddam Hussein's regime, is being investigated for war crimes.

London: Musharraf advises US to find an exit strategy. Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, in a speech to the House of Lords, suggested that the US was in need of an exit strategy for Iraq. Musharraf repeated his oppostion to the war but indicated that Pakistan would be willing to train Iraqi troops.

Released Polish hostage says she was held in Baghdad. Teresa Borcz says she was held in Baghdad during her imprisonment by kidnappers. In an interview with the Polish newspaper Zycie Warszawy, Borcz says she was well treated and was lodged in a clean, freshly pained room with adequate food.

Saragossa: Oil for Food Scandal. French President Jacques Chirac and Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero expressed backing for UN Secretary General Kofi Annan during their talks in Spain.

22:15 Samarra, Iraqi contractor killed. Rebels kill an Iraqi contractor for collaborating for the Americans.

21:09 New York. Kofi Annan condemns Islamophobia. US Secretary General Kofi Annan urges governments, media and schools to discourage Islamophobia.

18:11 Baghdad. US Army arrests 10 Palestinians. US troops raided the offices of the Palestinian Red Crescent and the Haifa Sporting Club in Baghdad. Troops seized computers and documents. A relative says the US is accusing them of links to terrorism.

17:21 Baghdad: US soldier killed in action; a marine dies in a road accident. A US soldier was killed in a rebel ambush in Baghdad while on patrol while a Marine died in a road accident in al Anbar province.

16:36 Washington: CIA station chief paints dismal portrait of occupation. A US intelligence officer cabled Washington last month saying that the situation in Iraq was deteriorating. The cable said that increasing religious and tribal conflict may be expected if the economic conditions for most Iraqis do not improve and if the central government is unable to impose its authority.

16:29 Mossul: Blast wounds three people. Two churches were bombed in Mossul, wounding three. The worst damage was to the Chaldean Church in the Widha district. Rebels placed plastic charges throughout the church and blew up the structure. Three parishoners were wounded. One hour later, rebels entered an Armenian church in the west of the city, forced out the parishoners and then detetonated explosives, including rockets, which they had placed inside. The same two churches were attacked in August.

16:07 Moscow: Putin doubtful about Iraqi elections. Russian President Vladimir Putin tells Iyad Allawi that it is impossible to guarantee that Iraqi elections will take place on the scheduled date given the level of violence in the country.

15:15 Mossul: Church is firebombed.

11:58 Brussels: Allawi, suggests elections to be held over two weeks. Premier Allawi tells Belgian newspaper Le Soir that voting may be spread over two weeks in January.

09:02 Jebala, bomb kills three national guard. Three are dead and 11 wounded in a bombing in Jebala, 70 km south of Baghdad

06:20 Iraq: Fourteen Iraqis arrested for building bombs. US troops arrest 14 suspected of fabricating bombs in northern Iraq.

05:07 Washington, Oil for food scandal: US congressmen demand resignation of Kofi Annan. Rep. Scott Garrett (Repubican) says resignation not enough, that the US Secretary General should go to jail.


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