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A blog on the current crises in the Middle East and news accounts unpublished by the US press.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

Friday, February 11, 2005

February 11 Events in Iraq

Security arrangements for Ashura. In preparation for the culmination of the Shi'ite feast of Ashura on 20 February, the governor of Kerbala has announced that no one will be admitted to the city starting 14 February. From 16 February, car traffic will be banned.

Kirkuk. Hundreds of Arab and Turkman residents protested election fraud in Kirkuk and demanded a new round of elections.

Baghdad. The Committee of Iraqi Ulema has called a conference aimed at forging unity following boycott of elections. Sunni associations, tribes, labor unions, political parties and provincial leaders will be invited to participate, says Sheik Ahmed Abdel Ghafour al-Samarraï.

Fallujah. Schools reopen without furniture or supplies. Three months following the US offensive which left the city in ruins, teachers, volonteers and students attempted to return to the classroom as one-quarter of the schools reopened. At Dhat al-Salassil School, children were warned not to lean against the walls, which might cause the roof to collapse. Principal Chalal Saddah Haraj says debris has been cleared from 5 classrooms but they lack blackboards, desks and windowpanes. At the Aicha School, only half the teaching staff showed up. At the Faiha School, there are blackboards but they have been damaged by gunfire. All buildings lack electricity and water. Summer school is out of the question, as the daily temperature in the desert city rises above 120 F.

Baghdad. General Metz relieved. General John Vines has relieved General Thomas Metz.

Baghdad. A US marine is charged with the premeditated murder of two Iraqis in cold blood on 15 April 2004 as he searched their car. The Marine officer, a lieutenant aged 33, faces the death penalty.

16:46 Baghdad Election results in for 12 provinces out of 18. The results are in for 12 Iraqi provinces where average turnout was 60.8%, says Abdel Hussein Al Hindawi. In An Najaf Province, turnout was 73%; in Wasit: 66% and in Dhi Qar 67%. In the Province of Diyala, turnout was 34% Mohsen Abdel Hamid's Islamic Party took the majority of the votes, despite his decision to boycott the elections. In the Kurdish Province of Ninawa, the ballots in 300 boxes had to be reexamined due to altered seals and claims of voter fraud.

16:34 Baladruz: 14 dead and 22 wounded in the carbombing of a Shi'ite mosque in Baladruz, 60 km northeast of Baghdad. Several of the wounded are not expected to live.

15:26 Baladruz. Three police among victims.

14:22 Rome. Imam of Rome, Mahmoud Ahmed Sheweita, makes plea for release of Giuliana Sgrena.

14:07 Baghdad. US soldier killed north of Baghdad.

13:19 Baghdad. The Committe of Iraqi Ulema says Giuliana Sgrena's fate should not depend on the Italian government. Sheikh Ahmad Abdul Ghafur Samarrai tells kidnappers that Sgrena's fate should not be linked to a pullout of Italian troops.

13:16 Thirteen dead in mosque carbombing.

13:02 Baghdad. Shi'ite mosque is carbombed on first day of Moharram.

12:09 Baghdad. Group linked to al Zarqawi claim credit for kidnapping of Iraqi officer. Colonel Riyadh Kati Aliwi, a high ranking Interior Ministry official, was kidnapped by the group.

11:45 Baghdad. Five Iraqi soldiers killed in separate incidents. In Samarra, 120 km north of Bagdad, two soldiers were killed and four civilians wounded in a rebel raid in the southern district of the city. Two soldiers were killed and one wounded as they attempted to defuse a bomb near Dhuluiyah, 70 km north of the capital. Elsewhere, two soldiers were wounded when mortar fire was directed at their base in Dujial, 40 km north of Baghdad. A fifth soldier was killed and another wounded near Ramadi.

11:26 Baghdad. Lieutenant of al Sistani wounded in assassinaton attempt. Sheik Ammar al-Hilali received a chest wound in an assassination attempt and is in stable condition.

10:57 Baghdad. Death toll climbs sto 11 in bread bakery shooting, including an 11 year-old child.

10:33 Baghdad. Bread bakery shooting was motivated by sectarian revenge. Masked gunmen shot at customers in a Shi'ite-run bread bakery in the New Al-Amin district of Baghdad. The neighborhood has several bread bakeries. Armed men arrived by car and opened fire on customers waiting outside the 'Al-Laith' bread bakery because the storefront was plastered with United Iraqi Alliance campaign posters. The district has both Sunni and Shi'ite residents and an active cell of radical Islamists.

08:57 Baghdad. Bread bakery bombing. Armed men attacked a bread bakery, killing 9 customers, as Shi'ites prepare for Ashura.

07:33 Mosul. Rumsfeld tells Iraqis they will become a "good" country.

07:31 Mosul. Surprise visit by Donald Rumsfeld.


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