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A blog on the current crises in the Middle East and news accounts unpublished by the US press.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

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

March 22 Events in Iraq

Baghdad. Anti-Arab sentiment prevails. Banners proclaiming Death to all Arabs, Jordan and Syria are prevalent in the capital.

Baghdad. New government nears formation. A Kurdish source says Iraq's Shia majority will have between 16 and 17 ministerial portfolios, including Interior, Finance and National Security. The Kurds will get 7 or 8 portfolios, including Foreign Affairs. The Oil Ministry is still disputed. Six ministerial portfolios will be given to the Sunnis, including Defense. Iraqi Christians and Turks will each get one portfolio. Iyad Allawi is unlikely to serve in the new government.

Baghdad. Dozens of Moustansariyah University Science Department students demonstrated against Jordan, passing out tracts showing the Jordanian flag emblazoned with the Star of David or satirical drawings of King Abdullah II.

Baghdad. Police and civilians killed three gunmen and arrested three others after they opened fire on shops and pedestrians near the Shi'ite Sadr Mosque in south Baghdad. Five people were wounded, including three children. Earlier in the day, a driver for a high-ranking Iraqi Interior Ministry official was assassinated in the same neighborhood.

Kirkuk. Wounded Iraqi general dies from wounds received on Sunday. Meanwhile, Iraqi police arrested 30 on charges of rape, theft and decapitation in Balad Rouz, north of Baghdad.

Baghdad. French journalist missing. Reporter Fred Nérac is reported missing and possibly kidnapped.

23:52 Brussels. Berlusconi "Troop withdrawal with assent of the allies." Silvio Berlusconi says Italy will withdraw its troops from Iraq only when Iraq can independently guarantee its security.

22:15 Tikrit: Seven Iraqi soldiers killed and another six are wounded in a raid on a rebel training camp on Lake Tharthar west of Tikrit. American warplanes had to be called in to dislodge the rebels.

16:28 Al Anbar Province: Six Iraqi soldiers kidnapped. A band of 10 masked insurgents kidnapped six Iraqi soldiers as they waited for a bus in civilian attire.

16:02 Baghdad. Latvian Defense Minister Einars Repse visited Camp Echo, a multinational base in Al-Qadissiyah in central Iraq.

15:14 Beirut: Hezbollah accuses the United States of creating division in Lebanon. America contradicts herself: She says that she is assisting Lebanon towards freedom, sovereignty and independence, but it's a lie, a ruse and a vilification," says Sheik Hassan Nasrallah.

15:12 Kiev: Yushchenko signs order withdrawing troops. Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko signed orders to pull his troops out of Iraq, reports Defence Ministry Security Advisor Petro Poroshenko.

13:56 Baghdad. Ukrainian delegation to fly to Iraq. A delegation headed by Defense Ministry Security Advisor Petro Porochenko will visit Iraq on 28 March to meet with coalition officials concerning the Ukrainian pullout.

12:32 Amman. Jordanian Ambassador to Iraq Atta Abdel Wahab has left the capital to return to Baghdad.

12:27 Kut. Six bodies found. The corpses of six Iraqi soldiers were found in Kut with their hands tied behind their backs.

11:52 Mosul. Seventeen guerrillas killed in clash with US troops. Another 14 were arrested.

11:48 Riyadh. Saudi Crown Prince Abdallah ben Abdel Aziz will not participate in the Arab Summit in Algiers.

11:25 Doha. Previously unknown group claims credit in theatre bombing. Tanzim Jound Al-Cham claims credit for bombing of British threatre in Doha.

10:33 Baghdad. Government official assassinated. A high-ranking official of the Interior MInistry was assassinated while travelling to work in his car.


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