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A blog on the current crises in the Middle East and news accounts unpublished by the US press.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

Monday, March 14, 2005

March 14 Events in Iraq

Message from Lebanon: Goodbye liberté, égalité, fraternité. Hello, freedom, truth and sovereignty.

Baghdad. Shi'ite protesters hauled down and burned the flag which flew over the Jordanian Embassy yesterday to protest the involvement of a Jordanian in a bombing in Hilla which killed 118 on 28 February. The demonstrators, who numbered about 200, renewed their Sunday demands to expel the Jordanian Ambassador, to sue the family of the presumed suicide bomber and to demand compensation from Jordan to the surviving family members of the victims. The angry crowd, demonstrating for more than two hours, shouted slogans insulting to Jordan's King Abdullah II. Iraqi police had to fire into the air to disperse the protesters. Furthermore, the provisional Iraqi National Assembly passed a resolution condeming the celebration of the act organized by the family of the suicide bomber in his native town of Salt, near Amman. [Abu Aardvark reports that the Jordanian newspaper al Ghad had carried a false story, setting off the protests.--Nur]

Baghdad. Prisoner confessions on Iraqi TV are popular. Karim Abdel Jabbar, Director of al Iraqiya TV, presents daily broadcasts of prisoner confessions. The program, Terrorists Caught in the Talons of Justice, presents the live confessions of presumed criminals and insurgents. Most Iraqis have been clamoring for their public execution and do not view the show as propaganda, even though the prisoners are presented as foreign-trained psychopaths.

Najaf. The An-Najaf Provincial Council has requested Iraqi citizenship for Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani. Sistani, age 73, who wears a black turban indicating that he is descended from the Prophet Muhammad, was born in Mashhad, Iran and has lived in Najaf since 1952. The Council's Sheik al-Noamani also requested citizenship for clerics Mohammed Ishaq al-Fayad, born in Afghanistan, and Bachir al-Najafi, born in Pakistan.

Baghdad. Opening of new parliament falls on historic date. The opening of the new Iraqi national assembly falls on the 17th anniversary on the gassing of Halabja, 16 March 1988, in which five thousand people were killed.

Baghdad. Serge July, Editor in Chief of the Paris newspaper Libération, went on Iraqi TV to plead for the release of reporter Florence Aubenas. July also met with the Committee of Iraqi Ulema, newspaper editors, the family of Hussein Hanoun, Iraqi caretaker President Ghazi Al-Yawar and Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari.

Zaafraniya. A police captain and his brother were assassinated in Zaafraniya, south of Baghdad.

Baghdad. An Iraqi Army colonel was assassinated in his car near Baghdad Airport.

Yusufiya. A car bomb detonated this morning in Yusufiya, south of Baghdad, killing two policemen and two civilians.

Shirgat. A car bomb on Saturday in this town near Mosul killed six, including three children and two policemen. Four others were wounded. The target was the base of the Sixth Battalion for the Protection of Oil Installations. The suicide bomber was a Yemani with the nom de guerre of Abu Dajana .

Rashid. A car bomb targeting a US military convoy killed two civilians in Rashid, 25 km south of Baghdad.

Mosul. A Christian cameraman for a TV network owned by the PDK was assassinated in Mosul. Husam Sarsam, the target of a prior kidnapping, was shot to death on Monday morning in north Mosul.

Baghdad. Tribal leaders meet.

Tikrit: Four persons were arrested, including two relatives of Saddam Hussein.

Baghdad. Outgoing President Ghazi al-Yawar has announced the creation of a committee to include Sunni parties and personalities who will demand up to 8 cabinet portfolios. Most members were included in al-Yawar's elections list, Iraqoun. Among the are Tarek al-Hachémi, Secretary of the Iraqi Islamic Party and Adnan Pachachi of the Independent Democrats. The Iraqi Monarchist Party, which received next to no votes in the January elections, says it is prepared to participate in the new government at the ministerial level.

16:05 Amman. Tareq Aziz asks for help from international community. Ex Vice Premier Tareq Aziz in a handwritter letter has called on the international community to guarantee him a fair trial, says son Zyad Aziz.

14.44 Erbil. Kurds formulate new demands. The Kurdish leadership has formulated new conditions for an agreement with the UIA which may compromise any agreement. The PUK, led by Jalal Talabani, and the PDK, led by Massud Barzani, insist on a revision of the draft agreement agreed last week and the inclusion of other political groupings. The Kurds demand democracy, federalism, human rights and women's rights, says acting Assembly President Roj Nouri Shawis. The Kurdish parties also insist that the government must resign should the Kurds pass a resolution of no confidence.

07:47 Baghdad. Assassination attempt on Health Ministry official. Saad al-Amili escaped an assassination attempt this morning in the Al-Ghazaliyah district of the capital that injured four of his bodyguards.

06:38 Baghdad. Ukraine begins troop withdrawal. 150 troops of the Suwayrah contingent is returning home. The withdrawal will be completed by October.


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