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A blog on the current crises in the Middle East and news accounts unpublished by the US press.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

Sunday, January 16, 2005

January 16 Events in Iraq

Baghdad. Hundreds of al Sadr supporters demonstrated in front of Oil Ministry to protest fuel shortage. A spokesman for the demonstrators, Sheik Malek al-Kinani, says the crowd had come up from the southern Iraqi provinces and will continue the sit-in in front of the ministry for several days.

Damascus. Syrian Foreign Minister Farouk el-Shareh held talks with UN representative Ashraf Jehangir Qazi concerning the Iraqi elections.

Baghdad. Iraqi Defense Minister Hazem Shaalan claims a female assassin trained in Syria tried to kill him, according to an account in al-Hayat. Shaalan further claimed there is are squads of female assassins in training in Syria. Shaalan said the woman contacted him with important information and was admitted to his office when she pulled a gun; she then became emotional and dropped the weapon. [He wishes! Been watching too many private eye stories on TV. What a serial liar and exaggerator!--Nur].

Kirkuk. Elections pact expected to cause tension with Arabs and Turkmen. A deal was reached Friday to prevent a Kurdish boycott of the January 30 elections in Taamim Province, where Kirkuk is located. The deal will permit 100 000 Kurdish voters deported from Kirkuk by Saddam Hussein to vote in the municipal election. Kurds would be then assured of dominating he provincial council.

Warsaw. Poles deny damage to Babylon. A Polish defense ministry spokeman denied charges by the British Museum that Polish and US troops damaged the archaeological site. In the British Museum report, conservator John Curtis of the Near East Department said troops had dug trenches, poured gravel, removed ancient stones, and leaked oil around the site, as well has filled sandbags with unearthed archaeological fragments.

22:03 Baghdad. Separate attacks kill 10, including one child. In Mosul armed gunmen opened fire on a US patrol; stray fire killed a child while five guerrillas were killed in the ambush. In Ramadi, a police official was killed in the downtown area. Meanwhile in Baghdad, unknown gunmen assassinated a government official in charge of purging municipal government of Ba'ath party members. Also in Baghdad a manager of the national railways and a police official were killed.

21:44 Basrah. Mortars fired at elections office. Five mortar rounds damaged two buildings but caused no injuries.

20:25 Kut. Son of Sistani collaborator assassinated. Ali Khatib, son of Sheik Habib Khatib, a collaborator of Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, was killed in an internet café in Naamiya, south of Baghdad.

18:41 Baghdad Mass mass grave registry center opens. The Iraqi Minister for Human Rights, Bakhtiar Amin, has announced a registry center for victims found in more than 290 mass graves in Iraq.

18:30 Baghdad. Voter registration for one million expat Iraqis to start Monday. Registration will run until 23 January in 36 cities in the Arab world and elsewhere. Voting will take place over three days--28 through 30 January in 821 polling stations abroad.

17:23 Mosul. US convoy hit by roadside bomb; vehicle damaged.

17:04 Baghad. Politician escaped assassination attempt. Shi'ite parliamentarian Mrs. Salama al-Khafaji escaped assassination in northwest Baghdad.

16:59 Ramadi. Body of Egyptian driver found. An Egyptian truck driver for a Kuwaiti firm was found dead near Ramadi.

12:40 Karbala. Bomb defused near Shi'ite mosque. An explosives-laden car was discoverd parked between a power station near the Imam Abbas mosque.
11:00 Samarra. US forces fire on car. US troops opened fire on a passenger car as it approached a checkpoint.

05:40 Washington. Bush says he cannot say when US troops will be withdrawn from Iraq.


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