17 April 2005 Events in Iraq
Damascus. Syrian intellectuals plead for release of French reporter Florence Aubenas and guide Hussein Hanoun. Syrian intellectuals reaffirm their commitment to freedom of expression and condemn any controls on the freedom of information, especially violence against journalists, says Political Scientist Salam Kawakibi.
Baghdad. Meeting of Iraq's neighbors postponed to 25 and 26 April. A meeting of states bordering on Iraq was postponed one week due to a request from Iraqi President Ibrahim Jaafari. The meeting with be the 8th in a series.
Brussels. Possible international conference in June. European Council President Jean-Claude Juncker says a meeting may be organized on Brussels in early June. However, Iraq has been hesitant to issue the request. The meeting would concentrate on the coordination of assitance to the country, says the European Commissioner for Foreign Relations, Benita Ferrero Waldner.
Baghdad. Shi'ite and Kurdish MPs are concerned by the delay in forming a new government. Outgoing Foreign Minister and MP Hoshyar Zebari, a Kurd, and MP Houmam Hamoudi, a Shi'a, say they believe the delay has fueled the resistance.
Mosul. Four police and five civilians were killed in separate incidents across northern Iraq.
Baghdad. Iraqi security sources say they arrested Izzat Ibrahim in March. The US had placed a bounty of $10 million on Ibrahim, a nephew of Saddam Hussein. Also announced was the arrest of Hashem Hussein Raduana al-Juburi
22:00 Al Madā’in. The kidnapping of a group of traveling Shiites last week near the town, 10 miles south of Baghdad, generated a retaliatory kidnapping of a group of Sunnis by Shi'ites a few days later. Friday night's exaggerated reports of a takeover of Al Madā’in by Sunnis and a mass exodus of Shi'ite residents to Al Kūt was played down by residents Saturday, despite a bomb blast which demolished a Shi'ite mosque. The situation in the town topped the agenda of Sunday's session of the National Assembly. Meanwhile, other reports say that when US and Ukrainian troops arrived in Al Madā’in, they saw streets full of people calmly sipping tea in cafés and going about their business. There were no armed Sunni mobs, no cowering Shiite victims. After hours of careful searches, the soldiers assisted by air surveillance found no evidence of any kidnappings or refugees at all.
22:00 The US Embassy said Marla Ruzicka, 27, the director of CIVIC, an international NGO, a Czech-born French national and an unidentified third person were killed by a suicide carbomb on the highway leading to Baghdad Airport.
21:22 Ba’qūbah. Seven Iraqis taken hostage. Seven workers at a US military base at Al Al Mansūrīyah were kidnapped by rebels as they left their jobs for the day.
20:21 An Najaf. Officials of the holy Shi'ite city said Highway Police General Karim Silawi died after being shot by fellow police loyal to his predecessor, General Hilal Abdallah. General Abdallah had been fired by the Provincial Council for his links to the former Ba'ath regime and replaced by General Silawi. When Gen. Silawi reported for work, he was shot dead by fellow police officers. Gen. Abdallah has been arrested. In March another incident involving Najaf police took place when Gen. Ghaleb al-Jazaïri refused to be transfered to Baghdad. A city judge then wrote out an arrest warrant which was served and ignored. Gen. al-Jazaïri kept his job.
13:17 Baghdad. High-ranking police officials assassinated in Baghdad and in Mosul. In Baghdad, Amazr Hassan, leader of the anti-terrorist Wolf Brigades was shot dead. In Mosul, Col. Yunes Mohammed al-Jawadi, was shot dead as he returned home. A group linked to Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi claimed credit for al-Jawadi's assassination.
11:02 Al ‘Azīzīyah. The bodies of 19 unidentified men were found floating in the Tigris.
10:28 Ar Ramādi. Mortars fired at US base kill three Americans. At least three US soldiers were killed and seven wounded by mortar fire directed at a US base near Ramadi. [I am doubtful that it was "mortar" fire...it was likely another suicide bombing inside the camp--Nur].