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A blog on the current crises in the Middle East and news accounts unpublished by the US press.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 20, 2005

March 20 Events in Iraq

Anti-war protesters around the world mark second anniversary of the invasion of Iraq:
London 100,000
Rome 10,000
Athens 5,000
Stockholm 500
Ankara 700
Melbourne 1,000
Kuala-Lumpur 400
New York 5,000
Los Angeles 2,000
San Francisco 500
Chicago 500
Cairo 400

Washington. Donald Rumsfeld blames Turkey for Iraqi insurgency. Rumsfeld says Turkey's refusal to permit a northern front for the invasion of Iraq has contributed to the insurgency.

London. MI-6 warned Blair that the USA would stretch the truth to justify the war on Iraq. Richard Dearlove, head of MI-6, informed PM Tony Blair and a group of cabinet ministers nine months before the start of the war that the US was determined to declare war on Iraq. Dearlove stated that "facts and intelligence" would be manipulated for political reasons, reports the Times.

New York. New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman proposes Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Kut. Thousands of demonstrators march in Kut to demand the explusion of the Jordanian Amabassador and indemnity payments to the survivors of the recent carbombing in Hilla.

Baghdad. UIA demands that Allawi make up his mind. The UIA has demanded that Premier Iyad Allawi decide if he in going to participate in the new government being negotiated by the Shi'ite alliance. Meanwhile Kurdish leader Jalal Talabani says agreement has been reached on the status of Kirkuk. According to Article 58 of the Fundamental Law, the government must support the right of return to Kurds expelled from Kurdistan by Saddam Hussein's Arabization efforts.

Baghdad. Sunni leaders meet to unite their forces for role in new government.

21:23 Baghdad. Kidnapping of minister denied. The kidnapping of Iraqi Minister for Provincial Affairs, Waeil Abdel Latif, and his bodyguards has been denied.

21:14 Baghdad. Ten bodyguards missing. Minister may be kidnapped. Mouwafak al Rubaie, the Iraqi Minister for Security Affairs says the Minister for Provincial Affairs, Waeil Abdel Latif, and his bodyguards have been kidnapped.

20:50 Baghdad. 24 guerrillas killed. 24 rebels were killed and 6 US soldiers wounded in a battle in suburbs of the capital.

17h34 Baquba. Four police killed and two others wounded in a raid on the Abbara police station in the north of the city.

17h06 Washington. US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says the results of an investigation into the killing of Italian intelligence agent Nicola Calipari would be released soon.

16:33 Doha. Egyptian responsible for suicide bombing of theater.

15:44 Mosul. Group linked to al-Zarqawi claims credit for assassination of anticorruption police official, Walid Kashmoula

15:33 Amman: Jordanian chargé d'affaires recalled to Jordan. Jordanian diplomat recalled to Amman after Abdel Aziz al Hakim of SCIRI accuses Jordan of backing terrorism. Meanwhile, Iraq has withdrawn its ambassador from Jordan.

14:07 Baghdad. US soldier killed in Kirkuk by roadside bomb

12:08 Quetta. The number of people killed in the bombing of a festival at a Shiite Muslim shrine rose to at least 30 on Sunday, and frightened pilgrims jammed onto buses trying to escape the southwestern village that was hosting the annual veneration of a Shiite saint. The bomb, which also injured 20, went off Saturday, hitting devotees as they were eating dinner at the shrine in Fatehpur village, 210 miles south of Quetta in restive Baluchistan province. No one claimed responsibility for the attack on the event attended by both Shiite and Sunni Muslims, as well as minority Hindus. The blast left a 2-foot deep crater and added to security woes in Baluchistan province, hit last week by fighting between government forces and renegade tribesmen

10:14 Amman: Al Zarqawi sentenced in abstentia to 15 years in prison. A Jordanian tribunal sentences al-Zarqawi in abstentia for the bombing of the Jordani Embassy in Baghdad which killed 18 persons in 2003. Also sentenced was a 24 year-old student, Mikdad al-Dabbas, who is in custody.

09:28 Mosul. Suicide bombing. A suicide bomber blew himself up at the headquarters of the Public Safety Commission.

09:24 Amman: King will not attend Arab League summit. Abdallah II, the Jordanian monarch, will not attend this week's Arab summit in Algiers.

08:52 Mosul. Chief of anti-corruption squad assassinated. Later in the day, gunmen fired on his funeral procession.

08:20 Ramadi. Suicide bombing. A suicide bomber attempted to drive his vehicle into a US miltiary checkpoint. The car detonated before reaching its destination.

07:38 Samarra. Policeman assassinated. The victim was walking to work when his assassins got out of a car and shot him to death.


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