January 26 Events in Iraq
Kirkuk. Kurds threaten ethnic cleaning. Kurdish demands are becoming more intransigent for the inclusion of the city of Kirkuk in an autonomous Kurdish province. The city has sizeable Turkman and Arab communities, which are opposed to annexation by Kurdistan. If they don't leave, most of them will be probably massacred, said Fatih Sangawy, director of a Kurdish television station in the town Shamshamal. Meanwhile in Ankara, Turkish Chief of Staff Gen. Ilker Basbug says that large number of Kurds migrating to Kirkuk may lead to voter fraud. Turkey accuses the Kurds of wresting control of Kirkuk from the Turkmen and Arabs with the aim of declaring an independent Kurdish state.
Paris. 11 arrests in Iraqi recruiting network investigation. French police have arrested 11 persons, including two women, suspected of recruiting French fighters for the Iraqi resistance.
23:44 Baghdad. Suicide carbomb wounds seven Australian soldiers, two seriously. Seconds prior to the bombing, insurgents opened fire on Australian troops guarding their embassy. The events seem to have been coordinated.
23:22 Tripoli. Gheddafi makes plea to save life of American. Lybian leader Muammar Gheddafi asks kidnappers to spare the life of Roy Hallums, a US civilian kidnapped 11 November in Baghdad.
21:17 Tikrit. Three new battalions to patrol oil installations. The Iraqi Army has created three new battalions to protect oil installations in Iraq.
21:19 Carbomb in Baghdad; US soldier dies bringing today's US death toll to 37.
21:13 Baghdad. Military says bad weather responsible for crash. Gen. John Abizaid says the downed CH-53 Sea Stallion may have crashed because of bad weather, not enemy fire.
19:57 Rome, human chain for troop pullout. The War Resisters Laboratory will form a human chain around the Defense and Treasury ministries in Rome on Saturday 29 January to demand the immediate pullout of Italian troops.
19:44 Amman. King of Jordan hopes for good turnout. King Abdallah of Jordan called on Iraqis to vote on Sunday because it is the only realistic way to guaranty stability.
19:01 Sinjar. Truck bomb kills 15. A truck bomb detonated in Sinjar in Iraqi Kurdistan in front of Massoud Barzani's PDK party headquarters. Fifteen are dead and at least thirty wounded.
17:56 Baghdad. Seven Iraqis killed. Seven civilians, including woman and a child wre killed and several others wounded in separate episodes of violence north and south of Baghdad. A bomb in Samarra, north of Baghdad. killed a man, a woman and a 7 year-old child. Another two civilians, a 20 year-old woman and a man, were wounded. In Mahmudiyah, south of Baghdad, two Iraqis were killed and several wounded by US troops during a house-to-house search for insurgents.
16:17 Washington. Bush: Our mission is to enable Iraq to defend herself from terrorists.
16:11 Bush: I believe every person desires to be free!
16:07 Bush: The Iraqis want to express themselves, and to me that is encouraging.
16:05 Bush address the nation. "I am optimistic about the advance of freedom, and so should the American people. After all, look what's happened in a brief period of time: Afghanistan, the Palestinian elections was -- I think are incredibly hopeful elections, as well as the Ukraine and now Iraq."
15:55 Al Zarqawi claims responsibility for today's attacks. Mussab Al Zarqawi has claimed credit for the bombings in Baquba and in Bagdad, saying he has hit, three centers of the secular apostates, agents of the Americans.
15:15 Sadr City. Followers of Moqtada Sadr arrested. US arrested twenty al Sadr followers outside the Al Rassoul mosque in east Baghdad.
14:58 An Rutbah. Worst day for US casualties since beginning of war. 31 US troops were killed when their transport helicopter crashed last night near Rutbah. Another five Americans died in various incidents across Iraq.
14:26 Baghdad. Four marines killed. Four marines died in combat operations in al Anbar province, west of the capital.
14:17 Rutbah. Dramatic death toll in helicopter crash. 31 US troops died in Rutbah in western Iraq while on a rescue mission.
13:50 Baghdad Allawi: "Gobbled up by neighbors if the US withdraws". In an address to a group of tribal leaders in Tikrit, PM Iyad Allawi stated that Iraq's neighbors will occupy the country should the US pull its troops out before Iraq is militarily prepared.
13:08 Kirkuk. Carbomb kills at least nine. Nine are dead and 12 wounded in a carbombing in Kirkuk.
12:39 Baghad. RPG attack kills one US soldier and wounds two others. A US patrol came under RPG attack north of Bagdad, killing one US soldier and wounding two others. One of the wounded is in grave condition.
12:05 Kirkuk. Chaldean bishop says voting is a patriotic and religious duty. Monsignor Louis Sako of Kirkuk calls on Iraqi Christians to vote.
12:04 London. Blair: After elections, wide areas of territory to be turned over to Iraqi forces. Tony Blair tells the Financial Times that the USA and the UK will turn over wide areas of Iraq to the control of Iraqi security forces in order to reinforce the legitimacy of the new Baghdad government.
10:46 Kirkuk. Carbomb targets police headquarters. Three police, two soliders and two civilians were killed in the carbombing of police headquarters. Meanwhile a suicide carbomb detonated in the market square of the Riyad district of west Kirkuk. A third carbomb targeted a US convoy passing through a village between Kirkuk and Hawija, 50 km from Kirkuk.
10:00 Kirkuk. Two carbombings.
09:46 Baghdad. Saddam Hussein has the right to vote by logistics prevent it, says the chairman of the Iraqi Elections Committee.
09:40 Carbomb in Baghdad wounds four US soldiers. A carbomb targeted a US convoy on the road to Baghdad airport, wounding four soldiers.
09:15 Mosul. Video shows kidnapped Iraqi civilians. A videotape found near Mosul shows three kidnapped Iraqi civilians who worked for the Elections Commission. One hostage has been identified as Abdul-Khaliq Ahmed. Ahmed explained in the tape that he worked for the Elections Committe to support two 8-member families.
08:46 Tikrit. Carbomb wounds two. A carbomb targeted a government building in Tikrit, 180 km north of Baghdad.
08:27 Baghdad. Carbomb targets US convoy. A suicide carbomb rammed a US convoy on the road to Baghdad Airport.
08:15 Baquba. Three party headquarters attacked. Insurgents raided three buildings housing political parties in Baquba, killing one policeman and wounding another four.
08:14 Rutbah. US helicopter on rescue mission. A US troop transport helicopter crashed just after midnight in the western desert near the Jordanian border. The craft was sent on a rescue mission to locate a previously downed combat helicopter and evacuate the crew.
07:47 Rutbah. US helicopter crashes near Jordanian border.
07:47 Washington. US to pay $15,000 to US National Guard volunteers. The Dept. of Defense is to pay a bonus of $15,000 to retiring active duty military who join the National Guard.
07:44 New York. Annan interrogated in "Oil for food" scandal. Kofi Annan is being questioned for the third time by the UN-appointed Commission of Inquest. The commission is headed by ex-Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, who is to issue a preliminary report on his findings soon.