January 21 Events in Iraq
Shaalan, Allawi and two other ministers may have stolen $300 million in cash through bogus armaments purchase. Story from the NY Times.
Al Zarqawi attacked Iraqi Shi'ites, whom he termed rafidha, for participating in the US assault on Fallujah in a recorded message yesterday. Al Zarqawi also denounced Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani.
Ansar al-Sunna announced that it has executed a Briton and a Swede.
Three contractors were killed by insurgents in Makhloul, north of the capital.
Chalabi to be arrested after Aïd al-Adha. The Iraqi Defense Minister Hazim al-Shaalan says that the caretaker government will arrest Ahmed Chalabi, leader of the Iraqi National Congress, after the feast of Aïd al-Adha for defamation of Mr. Shaalan. We shall arrest him and turn him over to Interpol. He will be arrested for tarnishing the reputations of the Defense Ministry and the Minister of Defense. declared Mr. al Shaalan to al Jazeera. [Shaalan is a clown and a windbag--Nur.]
Allawi gets his hands on man ordered to kill him in 1978. Prime Minister Iyad Allawi tells al Iraqiya TV that he has tracked down the man who tried to murder him with a hatchet in his London home in 1978. Recently we have begun to reap the fruit of cooperation with certain neighboring countries....Two days ago, one of them handed over an Iraqi who tried to kill me. He is a criminal who tried to assassinate me when was in London and I had to spend a year in the hospital. On 21 November Allawi filed a suit against Saddam Hussein, considered the brains of the operation, Saddam's half-brother and head of intelligence Barzan al-Tikriti and covert coordinator Farouk Hijazi.
Kidnapping or hoax? Two weeks ago a reporter for the French daily Libération went missing, yet Florence Aubenas has shown no signs of life. The French Defense Ministry said on Thursday that lack of information tends to discount the plausibility of a kidnapping.
Six Iraqi soliders killed north of capital. Six Iraqi soldiers were killed in separate incidents north of Baghdad and another twelve were wounded. A US soldier was also killed an another wounded during a military operation in Dhuluya. One insurgent is also dead.
22:50 Baghdad. Allawi admits insecurity will prevail for elections. Allawi admits that plans for maintenance of security for the elections by Iraqi and US forces are inadequate to stop planned guerrilla attacks on Election Day, January 30th.
22:00 Baghdad. Carbomb targets wedding celebration, many are dead. A suicide bomber at the wheel of an ambulance packed with explosives drove his vehicle into a building hosting a wedding party in Kar al Awsat, 20 km south of the capital.
20:53 Rome. Berlusconi will consider pullout following elections. Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi says Italy will begin planning for a pullout after the 30 January elections. I spoke to Blair anad Bush about it. It is an exit plan.
18:31 Baghdad. Video shows dual decapitation. Another two Iraqis, both civilians, were decapitated by followers of Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi. The video was uploaded to the Internet. Both confessed to be working for the Americans in a US military base west of the capital.
18:22 New York. CIA confirms authenticity of al Zarqawi message. US intelligence confirms authenticity of 75-minute al Zarqawi message broadcast yesterday.
17:30 Ramadi. Militants linked to al Zarqawi carry out public beheading of Iraqi soldier. Miltants beheaded an Iraqi National Guard in broad daylight in front of a crowd and left his body in the street with a message warning others of the fate of collaborators. Nine armed individuals suddenly pulled up in two vehicles, got out of their cars with a prisoner and decapited the victim in front of passers-by. The rebels then placed the victim's head on his chest. Ramadi, 110 km west of Baghdad is perhaps more unstable and dangerous than Fallujah, where the situation is far from being under control following a large-scale American offensive. The urgency of controlling Fallujah seems to have become less of a priority.
16:11 Baghdad. Carbomb targets mosque, 15 dead and 40 wounded. A carbomb detonated as the faithful were departing the Shi'ite Shuhada al-Tashif mosque, in the Umm al-Maaleg district of Baghdad, after special prayers on the feast of Eid al-Adha. The feast recalls the intervention of Yahweh to save Isaac, son of Abraham, from sacrifice. A large crowd of children had assembled in front of the mosque as members of the Dawa Party handed out candy, pastries, wrist watches and souvenirs to celebrate the feast and to promote its image. As the crowd was leaving, a car accelerated into the throng and rammed a minibus, which was parked in front of the mosque. The subsequent devastating explosion propelled metal shards and fragments through the crowd, causing a massacre.
15:51 Copenhagen. Five Danish soldiers found guilty of torture charge. The Danish news agency Ritzau reports that a military tribunal has found five members of its forces guilty of torture in an installation near Basrah. The highest ranking solider was an officer, Reserve Capt. Annemtte Hommel, who was reported by her men for mistreatment of prisoners by ordering forced stances and denial of food, water and latrine access to prisoners.
15:51 Las Vegas. Terrorism warning. Security in the city of Las Vegas has been reinforced due to threat of a taxi, limo or city bus bombing. [Nonsense. Someone has hacked the FBI alert system and is pulling their chain.--Nur]
14:09 Samarra. Oil pipeline sabotaged. The pipeline transporting oil from Beiji to Baghdad's Dora refinery was set ablaze.
13:22 Milan. Italian soldier killed in Nassiriya. A machine gunner aboard an Italian attack helicopter was killed this morning in Nassiriya. The helicopter was on a routine mission, flying at low altitude when it was hit by light arms fire, killing Simone Cola.
11:48 Baghdad. Kidnappers of Chinese workmen issue communiqué. Despite the expiration of a 48-hour ultimatum, the kidnappers of eight Chinese laborers have issued an communique: We demand that the Chinese government forbid its nationals to enter Iraq. The kidnappers have promised to treat the hostages with "mercy."
11:00 Hit. Militants assault police barracks. The Hit police barracks located along a highway leading to the Syrian frontier was raided by guerrillas. A group of 15 armed men clashed with police and forced them to flee the barracks abandoning their weapons.