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A blog on the current crises in the Middle East and news accounts unpublished by the US press.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, March 13, 2005

March 13 Events in Iraq

Baghdad. Vice President Rouch Chouïs says negotiations between the Kurds and the Shi'a UIA will continue beyond Wednesday, the day slated for the first sitting of the new Iraqi parliament. We will return to Baghdad to review certain issues. Discussions will carry on; details need to be hammered out, said Fouad Massoum, interim speaker of National Assembly. Other Kurdish political leaders are less optimistic. Negotiations have readed a total impasse, says an advisor to Massoud Barzani. On Saturday Ahmed Chalabi said he had returned from Kurdistan where he attempted to solidify the Kurdish-UIA alliance. Chalabi says that all negotiation has failed. A Shi'ite spokesman says the distribution of ministerial portfolios and the enlargement of the Kurdish superprovince [status of Kirkuk--Nur] are the chief stumbling blocks preventing an agreement. The inability of the Kurds and the Shi'ite to agree risks plunging Iraq into a protracted phase of uncertainty and delaying efforts in ensuring the security of the country. Voters who risked their lives on 30 January by going to the polls accuse politicians of worsening the security situation by creating a power vacuum.

Baghdad. Hundreds of Shi'ites took to the streets to protest against Jordan after having read newspaper accounts saying a Jordanian national was responsible for the 28 February bombing in Hilla which killed 118.

Baghdad. Weapons depots were systematically looted. Sami al-Aradji, Deputy Minister of Industry, says organized gangs looting weapons depots and made off with components for missiles as well as for biologcial, chemical and nuclear weapons. [Sure the installations were systematically looted, but Saddam had no WMD program in the first place. How dumb does al-Aradji think we are?--Nur]

Sofia. Marines responsible for slaying of Bulgarian soldier. Marines admitted to ignoring rules of engagement when they fired on a convoy of Bulgarians, killing one soldier. Marines fired without warning and without verifying the nationality of the convoy, says a Bulgarian Defense Ministry communiqué.

16:30 Teheran: Iran exhibits patrol boats confiscated from the British by Guardians of the Revolution. Three British patrol boats and all their equipment and material were exhibited to the public in Teheran. The boats carried a significant amount of communications equipment and weaponry. The boats were shown as part of an exhibition entitled, A Piece of Paradise, dedicated to the heros of Val-Fajr, a operation during the Iran-Iraq war. The exhibition is in celebration of Iranian New Year, Noruz, which is 21 March. Original 21 June dispatch below:
14.50 - IRAN ARRESTS 8 BRITISH IN TERRITORIAL WATERS. Three military craft were sequestered and the eight crewmembers questioned after their arrest by Iranian forces after having entered Iranian waters, reports al-Alkam radio. The incident took place in the Shatt al Arab waterway dividing Iraq and Iran.
17:16 Mosul. Previously unknown group claims credit for Shi'ite mosque bombing in communiqué. Jound al-Sahaba fi al-Irak (Soldier-Companions of Mohammed) claim credit for Thursday's bombing of a Shi'ite mosque in Mosul which killed 51 and wounded 77. Sheik Abut al-Abbas al-Omari, "emir" of the group, accuses Shi'ites of insulting the honor of Muslims, targeting dignitaries and imams, insulting Abu Bakr al-Seddiq (first caliph to succeed Mohammad after his death) and Omar ben al-Khattab (second caliph to succeed Mohammad) and cursing Aisha (one of Mohammad's wives). The group threatened to step up operations targeting Shi'ites if they don't cease their aggression against Sunnis

16:32 Baghdad. A Saudi working for Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi was arrested by the Iraqi army outside Kirkuk as he prepared outside the K-1 military base. The man is identified as Mohammad Sultan Alewi, 22, of Riyadh. Alewi said he arrived one month ago. Meanwhile Iraqi forces say they arrested four "Arab terrorists" in Chorgat, 300 km north of Baghdad.

14:57 Baghdad. 2 dead and 5 injured in bombing. A bombing in the Obeidi District in southwest Baghdad targeting a US military convoy killed two Iraqis and wounded 5.

11:31 Latifiyah. Twelve bodies discovered. Five bodies were found in an agricultural zone southeast of Baghdad, 5 km east Latifiyah. Among the victims were three soldiers. The other nine were pilgrims heading for Najaf and Kerbala.

09:19 Baghdad. Two American civilians slain. Two contractors for Blackwater Security Consulting were killed.

08:05 Baghdad. Civilian and policeman slain. An Iraq civilian and a police officer were killed in separate incidents. Meanwhile, another two people were killed in a road accident: a US military vehicle collided with a bus on a highway in southern Iraq.


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