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A blog on the current crises in the Middle East and news accounts unpublished by the US press.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, January 11, 2005

January 11 Events in Iraq

Iraqi security forces beat a motorcyclist for cutting in line at a service station.

Despite the insistance from several quarters that elections will be held on 30 January, they look increasingly threatened by postponement or cancellation.

Journalists to cover Iraqi elections remotely. Most European media are keeping staff numbers in Iraq to a minimum. France and Italy have suggested that national media avoid travel to Iraq. Most foreign correspondents will cover elections from the safety of Amman, nevertheless, the Independent (UK), the Times (UK) and Italian press and broadcast media will keep their correspondents in the country. The Russian news agencies Interfax, Itar-Tass and Ria Novosti willl not send correspondents to cover the elections but Russian television will do so.

Samarra. Four Iraqi soldiers were killed and two wounded in a rebel ambush south of the city. With the city one Iraqi soldier was killed in an attack on his patrol

Yussufiyah. A roadside bomb on a major artery struck a US military convoy.

Baghdad. An Iraqi interpreter for the US military was shot dead north of Baghdad. Within the city, two police officers were killed and one wounded in separate incidents.

Al Anbar. Election commission members resign due to threats. The commission will replaced by anonymous elections workers in Baghdad.

Baghdad. Allawi to increase military spending. 11% of the national budget of $19 billion will be spent on equiping the security forces.

Cairo. Representatives from 20 nations and international organizations who participated in the November conference on Iraq in Sharm al Sheik insist that elections take place as planned on 30 January. PDK leader Massoud Barzani made a personal plea to Iraqi Sunnis to revoke their boycott of the elections.

Athens. Libyan President Muammer Qaddafi said in an interview on Greece's Star-TV that George W. Bush's policies would be acceptable [to the Arab world] if he hadn't invaded Iraq. As to Tony Blair, Qaddafi regrets that the British Prime Minister had "gotten mixed up" in the conflict.

Moscow. President Putin expressed concerned at the two months' long state of emergency in Iraq preceding January 30 elections in a speech to representatives of the Turkish construction industry.

Ankara. Talks on Kurdistan. US, Iraqi and Turkish civilian and military officials met to discuss the status of Kurdistan. Osman Koruturk, chief of the Iraq desk at the Turkish Foreign Ministry, US Deputy Secretary of State Laura Kennedy and Iraqi Deputy Foreign Minister Hamid al-Bayati met in a hotel in the suburbs of Ankara to discuss the slaying of more than 70 Turkish truck divers in rebel ambushes and the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK), renamed Kongra-Gel, which has been declared a terrorist organization by Ankara and Washington.

Fallujah. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees announced Tuesday that only 8,500 out of the 85,000 residents of Fallujah who returned to inspect the damage to their homes have decided to remain in the city. The Iraqi caretaker government inaccurately claimed on 8 January that 60,000 residents of Fallujah had returned. The UN High Commissioner stated that a large number of 300,000 residents of Fallujah intend to remain outside the city until elections are over; they complained of danger and lack of public services.

London. BBC reports that US troops detain 300 Syrian truck drivers at border crossing in retaliation for Syria's alleged support for Iraqi insurgency.

24:0 Al Anbar Province. US solider killed in firefight. A marine of the First Expeditionary Corps was killed while on patrol in al Anbar Province.

21:59 Mosul. Three US soliders and three civilians killed in separate incidents. A roadside bomb struck a combined US and Iraqi convoy delivering space heaters to a school. Following the bombing, insurgents opened fire on the scene from atop the Saddam Mosque in the al-Mansur district. Three US soldiers and the Iraqi truck driver were killed and another six US soldiers were wounded. Meanwhile in the Baghdad suburbs near Abu Ghraib, two women were killed and another six civilians wounded by mortar fire.

18:53 Bergen. British soldier found guilty of torture. A 20 year-old Brisith soldier was sentenced on prison and dishonorable discharge for having tortured Iraqi prisoners in Basrah in 2003. The soldier had taken 25 photographs which were confiscated by police in London after he tried to get them developed. Three other soldiers shown in the photographs face stiffer sentencing. In one photo, a prisoner is shown face down in a pool of blood.

18:21 Basrah. Bomb explodes near elections office.

14:12 Tikrit. Group linked to al Zarqawi claims credit for Tikrit bombing. This morning's suicide bombing of a police barracks in Tikrit killed six police. Meanwhile in Samarra, a roadside bomb hit a US/Iraqi convoy, killing two National Guards.

13:58 Kirkuk. Oil and gas pipelines sabotaged. A gas pipeline caught fire after being hit by a rocket. 60 km west of Kirkuk, a recently repaired oil pipeline was dynamited.

11:54 Kiev. Ukrainian Parliament votes immediate pullout. In a vote of 416 to 308, the Rada approves a resolution for an immediate pullout of the Ukrainian contingent from Iraq.

10:54 Baghdad. 8 killed and 3 kidnapped. South of Baghdad, armed men ambushed a minibus killing eight and kidnapping three. The victims are believed to be pilgrims or police recruits. Meanwhile in Mahmudiyah, 25 km south of Baghdad, a roadside bomb exploded near a US convoy. No injuries reported.

09:29 Samarra. Suicide carbomb targets US convoy. A suicide carbomb hit a US military convoy in downtown Samarra in the central Moalmeen district near a mosque.

09:13 Kirkuk. Pipeline sabotaged. An oil pipeline linking Kirkuk to the Beiji refinery were sabotaged. At least five days are necessary for repairs.

08:31 Tikrit. Suicide carbomb destroyes police barracks. Six police are killed in bombing.

02:46 Paris. Plea for French hostage. Nobel prizewinners Naguib Mahfouz and Elfriede Jelinek plea for the release of French reporter Florence Aubenas.


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