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A blog on the current crises in the Middle East and news accounts unpublished by the US press.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

Friday, April 15, 2005

15 April 2005 Events in Iraq

Samarra. A roadside bomb detonates as an Iraqi patrol passed nearby killing two Iraqi soldiers.

Baghdad. A bomb intended for Iraqi national guards detonates, killing one civlian and wounding three others.

Baghdad. Still no government. Violence continues to spiral, putting pressure on the National Assembly to decide on the composition of the government. Political factions have been fighting for 11 weeks over ministerial portfolios. The conflict centers around the strategic ministries of Defense, Interior and Petroleum. The incertainty has led the guerrilla to step up attacks against US troops and their allies to prevent any normalization of the situation as long as the occupation continues.

Baghdad. A US soldier was killed and five others wounded in a suicide bombing near Russian Embassy in west Baghdad. Credit for the bombing was claimed by a group linked to Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi. An AFP reporter reported that several cars wre demolished. Another eyewitness says a GM Opel exploded as four US Humvees rolled by. Meanwhile, a mortar round hit a residence, killing one civilian and wounding four others. North of the capital, three Iraqi soldiers, two police and a truckdriver were killed in separate incidents.

Baghdad. The US Army says it arrested 17 suspect and seized an arms cache in west Baghdad.

Mosul. US troops arrested four guerrilla suspects in a dawn raid in the Sallamiyah district.

Camp Bucca. One prisoner was killed by other inmates which resulted in a riot which injured 12 prisoners. The riot broke our at 11:00 pm local time. The camp, which is west of Um Qasr, holds more than 6,000 inmates.

Paris. Journalists mobilize to plead for the release of Florence Aubenas and Hussein Hanoun. Radio and television appeals were made non-stop throughout France. Balloons were released in Lille, Strasbourg, Albi, Cahors, Carcassonne, Montauban, Perpignan, Tarbes, Besançon, Belfort, Metz and Toulouse as part of the campaign of solidarity.

Baghdad. Lawyer for Saddam says his rights were violated. Saddam will not be guaranteed a fair trial after having been demonized for decades, says Ramsey Clark.

Baghdad. Sunni imam calls on Talabani to declare a general amnesty. Sheik Ahmed Abdel Ghafour Samarrai of the Committe of Iraqi Ulema called on Iraqi President Jalal Talabani to declare general amnesty and to ignore pressure from Donald Rumsfeld, who does not like the idea.

Baghdad. Ukraine begins rotation to reduce troop strength. There will be 40% reduction in the contingent before May 15th.

23:07 Beirut. Lebanese TV network al Hayat-Lbc says an Iraqi solider, Jassim Mohammed Hussein, has been beheaded.

22:54 Madean. 60 Shi'ites kidnapped and held hostage. Insurgents take more than 60 Shi'ite hostage and order remaining Shi'ite out of the city.

16:14 Baghdad. Leaflets were handed out by different groups announcing the death of al-Zarqawi's right-hand man, Qaissar al-Abassi, in a clash in Samarra, 125 km north of Baghdad. We announce with sadness the heroic martyrdom of Qaissar al-Abassi who struggled long and valiantly to trouble the sleep of the miscreant occupiers, the apostate police of Falah al-Nakib and the Army of Hazem Shaalan in the land of Mesopotamia. This leaflet was distributed in Samarra, Dhoulouiyah and Tikrit and was signed by al-Zarqawi's Jihad Organization of Mesopotamia. According to the tract, Qaissar al-Abassi detonated the suicide vest he was wearing after having expended all his ammunition. A different leaflet signed the Rashidaïn army was distributed in north Baghdad where the resistance is active. This tract says that Qaissar al-Abassi was killed in combat with American troops in Samarra, his home town. The date of al-Abassi's death is not give. Other leaflets distributed in Samarra stated The Knight of Salaheddin, was active for seven months north of Baghdad.

16:12 Ramadi. US Marine dies in combat. On Thursay, a Marine died after having been hit by light arms fire. On Wednesday a Marine died when hit by a mortar round. The US KIA total for Iraq is now 1,545.

15:29 London. The UK says that it observed the sanctions placed on Iraq, after UN Secretary General Kofi Annan sugat gested ththe UK and the USA of turning a blind eye to oil smuggling which benefitted their allies. I regret to say that suggestions that the United Kingdom ignored smuggling of oil from Iraq to Jordan and Turkey are inaccurate, said Foreign Minister Jack Straw.

15:04 Paris. French Soccer Federation President Jean-Pierre Escalettes has informed to his Israeli counterpart of his"indignation" after the French national anthem, La Marseillaise, was booed in Tel-Aviv on March 30th at an Israël-France match.

14:56 Baghdad. Hussein Shahrastani, Parliamentary Deputy Speaker, speaking on behalf of the for the UIA, says a new goverment would not be formed before the end of next week. Sharistani stated that the main obstacle was finding Sunnis willing to accept a portfolio.

14:44 Teheran. Former Iranian President Akbar Hashémi Rafsanjani declares his intention to run in the 17 June elections. Other candidates include Police Commander Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, ex-foreign ministers Ali Akbar Velayati and Ali Larijani, and Mohsen Rezaie, ex-leader of the Guardians of the Revolution.


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