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A blog on the current crises in the Middle East and news accounts unpublished by the US press.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

Thursday, April 14, 2005

14 April 2005 Events in Iraq

London. The Lib-Dems demand an exit strategy from Iraq. Britain's Liberal-Democrats began the election campaign in Britain with broadsides directed at Labour and the Tories.

New York. Three are charged in Oil for Food scandal. Three businessmen, including one American, were charged with bribery in the Oil for Food scandal. A Texas businessman and his two assistants, a Briton and a Bulgarian, were charged with paying secret million-dollar bribes to the régime of Saddam Hussein so they could participate in the sale of Iraqi petroleum within the Oil for Food program. The Texan, David Chalmers, who ran Bayoil USA, was arrested in Houston along with his associate Ludmil Dionissiev, a Bulgarian residing in the United States. US authorities have requested the extradition of a Briton, John Irving. The men participated in the setting of the price for Iraqi oil and risk 62 years in prison if found guilty. Meanwhile, a South Korean, Tongsun Park, was charged yesterday with having received millions of dollars from the Iraqi government, part of which was earmarked to "take care of" a UN official, whose identity has not been revealed.

Baghdad. The Iraqi Parliament continues to seek an elusive agreement on a Cabinet.

Mahawil. Four police are dead in a marketplace explosion in Mahawil, 90 km south of Baghdad. The wounded, numbering 6, have been taken to hospitals in Mahawil and in Hilla, provincial capital of Babil Province.

Baghdad. US increases bounty for capture of al-Zarqawi to $25 million.
Tal Afar. Five civilians are wounded as a bomb targeting a US convoy detonates

Karbala. Police arrest suspected member of group linked to al-Zarqawi. The man is accused in the kidnapping of two German engineers in March 2004. Meanwhile President Trajan Basescu says there is proof that the trio is alive and is treated well.

Baquba. Four civilians are wounded as a bomb targeting a US convoy detonates. Two US soldiers were wounded

21:30 New York. The UN Human Rights Commission has condemned the state of Israel for the use of force against Palestinian civilians. Ten countries, including the UK, Canada, Germany, Italy and the United States were opposed to the text condemning systematic violations of the Geneva Conventions committed by Israel on the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip. The resolution was opposed because it called on Israel to stop settler violence but said nothing about acts of terrorism carried out by Palestinians. The US and Australia were the only two nations to vote against the resolution adopted by a vote of 39 in favor with 12 abstentions. Israeli Ambassador Itzhak Levanon protested the unilateralism of the resolution.

18:44 Washington. Outgoing World Bank President James Wolfensohn will assume the role of Special Representative of the Quartet supervising the Israeli pullout from the Gaza Strip.

18:28 Doha. An American official says the US government is doing everything it can to release kidnapped hostage Jeffrey Ake. A plea for his release was broadcast on al-Jazeera.

18:15 Rome. The Farnesina Palace says the joint US-Italian investigation into the death of Nicola Calipari has not been concluded.

18:13 Hilla. A suicide bomber blew himself up in a marketplace, killing four police and wounding six civilians.

18:06 Baghdad. Iraqi forces announce the arrest of 63 al Qaeda members in raids in Baquba and in Mosul, including two Egyptians. [I rather doubt they are really "al-Qaeda" members.--Nur].

16:53 Ankara. Clashes between Turkish troops and PKK militants. 24 are dead, including 3 Turkish soldiers, in clashes in Besta on the border betwen the eastern provinces of Sirt and Shirnak.

13:16 Baghdad. Al Zarqawi claims credit for this morning's car bombings.

13:01 Algiers. Five die in attacks. Five are dead and 10 wounded in separate attacks in Algeria carried out by radical Islamists. Two were killed in the region of Relizan. Another three were killed by a bomb in the Tebessa region.

12:23 Baghdad. Iraqi intelligence agent assassinated. An Iraqi intelligence agent was gunned down as he went to work.

10:49 Baquba. One policeman killed and three wounded. Guerrillas fire on police patrol.

10:36 Kirkuk. Ansar al-Sunnah claims credit for raid on police station.

10:32 Teheran. Iran will not renounce its uranium enrichment program as a condition for negotiations with the European Union. Iranian negotiator Cyrus Nasseri made the announcement.

10:22 Baghdad. Two carbombs kill 15 and wound 20. Two cars stuffed with explosives detonate, one near Baghdad University close to the Green Zone in the Jadriya district of southeast Baghdad, and another near the Interior Ministry in the center of the capital. Jadriya was the scene of a carbombing yesterday.

09:13 London. Foreign Minister Jack Straw says British pullout to begin in 2006.

09:06 Baghad. Carbomb kills 11 in downtown Baghdad. Car bomb detonates outside Ministry of the Interior, killing 11 and wounding 20. The victims included police and children. The blast, which occurred at rush hour, also demolished fifteen cars and scattered body parts over a wide area.

08:27 Baghdad. Two blasts in capital.

08:02 Kirkuk. Shots fired at police station. Three are dead and four are wounded in a guerrilla raid on a police station which was inaugurated one week ago in the co.

06:58 Tikrit. Truckbomb explodes in Tikrit. Five Iraqi civilians are wounded. A fuel truck rammed a residence in which US troops were quartered.

02:27 Washington. Retired American officials from the fields of politics, religion, academia and business have decided to form a pressure group to foster peace in the Middle East. Baptised the "American Leadership Campaign for Peace in the Middle East", the group plans to lauch a web site ( where an open letter to President Bush will be published. The goal of the organization is to convince Americans that a rapid solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict is in the national interest of the United States.

02:03 Kiev. Ukraine will pull out its contingent before October. Ukraine has 1,650 military personnel deployed to Iraq.

01:34 Washington. Sharon excludes any attack on Iranian nuclear installations after meeting with Mr. Bush in Texas.

01:15 Washington: Fini departs for Rome. Italian FM Gianfranco Fini returns to Rome after meeting with members of the Bush administration. In his meeting with Condoleezza Rice, Fini suggested an international conference on the Middle East following the Gaza pullout.

00:15 Washingon Italian Foreign Minister Gianfranco Fini says he is very happy with the cooperation between the USA and Italy in the inquest into the death of Italian intelligence agent Nicola Calipari, killed by US troops after an Italian hostage was released. However, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Mr. Fini refused to set a date for the publication of the results of the joint inquest. The death of Mr. Calipari provoked strong emotions in Italy. President Azeglio Ciampi demanded that the cause of the tragedy be clarified.


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