1 April 2005 Events in Iraq
Kirkuk. One civilian was killed and three wounded, including a woman and a child, by a bomb placed in front of Kirkuk University Law School.
Dhoulouiyah. An Iraqi solider was killed in an attack on his patrol 75 km north of Baghdad.
Al-Mouchadah. An Iraqi solider was killed in a mortar attack on his base 30 km north of Baghdad.
Al Djalan. Five men, four Arab fighters and one Iraq, were killed in clashes with a joint Iraqi-US patrol.
Paris. French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier says reporter Florence Aubenas and her guide Hussein Hanoun, kidnapped in Iraq 86 days ago, are still alive.
15:07 Baghdad. Casualties decline. The number of people killed in guerrilla action has declined by 38%. 303 people were killed during the month of March vs. 486 in February. 30 Iraq soldiers were killed and 63 wounded in March vs. 45 killed and 87 wounded in Feburary. For the police, 78 were killed and 101 wounded in March vs. 96 and 105, repectively, in February. Throughout the country in March there were 108 rebel attacks, including 18 car bombs and 16 miscellaneous bombings.
14:37 Baghdad. Sunni clerics issue fatwa. Iraqi Sunni clerics has issued a fatwa to the members of their communities to enlist in the army and police. The fatwa was signed by 64 clerics and was an implicit condemnation of the Kurdish Peshmerga and the Shi'ite Badr Brigades.
14:33. Bucharest. Romanians criticize President Traian Basescu for his handling of the hostage crisis. Al Jazeera broadcast a video showing Marie Jeanne Ion, 32, cameraman Sorin Miscoci, 30, and special correspondent Ovidiu Ohanesian, 37, of Romania Libera. Their guide, Mohamad Mounaf, who was also shown, enjoys triple nationality: Iraqi, Romanian and US. Columnist Cornel Codita writing for Bursa says There is a long trail of question marks. What's obvious is that the government is... improvising. Sorin Rosca Stanescu writing for Ziua says it would be better if the government would let the US handle the hostages. [Yeah, if you want the dead!--Nur] News editor-in-chief Dan Dumitru of Prima TV says the government is not keeping him informed of hostage negotiations. The parents of the hostages say they found out about the kidnappings from the newspaper.
14:31 Baghdad. Moqtada Sadr calls march. Radical cleric Moqtada Sadr called upon his followers to march next Friday to demand an end to the occupation. Demonstrate on 9 April in Ferdaous Square where the statue of the "Destroyer" once stood to demand that Saddam Hussein stand trial and that the occupation end. Demonstrate4 for Islam, justice, peace, truth, security, independence and the prisoners. I call upon all Iraqis who reject the occupation to concentrate on the sole enemy: the occupiers. Al Sadr also demands a calendar for the pullout of foreign troops.
11:21 Samarra. Minaret damaged. The summit of the 52-meter high historic spiral minaret, the Malwiya, was damaged by an explosion, which archaeologists have termed a catastrophe. The minaret, inspired by Mesopotamian ziggurats, was built between AD 849 and 852. US snipers were ordered to leave the summit, which they had used as an observation tower, by local authorities on 17 March. Insurgents regularly destroy positions abandoned by US troops. In 2004 they dynamited the Baa'th Party headquarters in Baghdad to deny US troops use of the building.
There are only two other spiral minarets in the world: the Ibn Touloun Mosque in Cairo and the Abu Duluf Mosque, which is also in Samarra. The Italian painter Pietro de la Valle visited Samara in the 15th century and included the minaret in his depictions of the hanging gardens of Babylon. The city of Samarra was built in 836 by Abassyd Caliph al-Moutassem when he made it his capital after clashes between Baghdadis and his troops, who were recruited from central Asia. Samarra remained the Abassyd capital until 892. There are several structures in Samarra which remain from this period, especially the mosque built by Caliph Al-Moutawakkil (847-861), one of the largest mosques in the world.
08:35 Balad Ruz. Police chief assassinated. Col. Hatem Rashid Mohammad, Police Chief of Balad Ruz, northeast of Baghdad, was assassinated along with two of his assistants.
03:21 Washington. England replaces Wolfowitz. President George Bush has chosen US Navy Secretary Gordon England to replace Paul Wolfowitz.