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A blog on the current crises in the Middle East and news accounts unpublished by the US press.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 21, 2005

21 April 2005 Events in Iraq

Baghdad. Seven Iraqis died in separate attacks today across the country. Meanwhile, an interpreter working in the Green Zone was kidnapped.

Ar Ramādi. US marines say they shot dead a woman who was planting a bomb near the town.

Baghdad. A roadside bomb on the airport highway killed an employee of the British firm Aegis and wounded another. An Iraqi civilian was also wounded.

An Najaf. The holy city is preparing the funeral for 17 of the victims found in the Tigris River. Crowds have been shouting slogans hostile to the Iraqi Interior Minister Falah Nakib. SCIRI say that some 70 bodies have been pulled out of the river.

Baghdad. Jalal Talibani did not announce the formation of a new goverment, which had been promised for Thursday as certain.

Paris. France is concerned by escalating violence in Iraq and calls for calm.

London. Blair to lose Muslim vote. British Muslims will likely not turn out for Blair in the May elections.

Washington. John Negroponte was confirmed as Director of National Intelligence by a Senate vote of 98 to 2.

21:14 Washington. The private security concer Blackwater confirmed that seven of its employee were killed in Iraq, six in the shoot-down of a helicopter north of the capital. A seventh was killed near Ar Ramādi by a roadside bomb

20:26 Mecca. Saudi security forces exchanged fire with radical Islamists in the mountains near Mecca. Inhabitants of the Oum al-Djoud sector southest of the holy city said rebels fired at low-flying helicopters and Red Cross ambulances headed to the scene. Armed gunmen attempted to cross through a checkpoint disguised as women. They have been surrounded in the mountains outside Mecca, says a source in the security forces.

19:57 Lannemezan. Lebanese terrorist Georges Ibrahim Abdallah, serving a life sentence for the assassination of two diplomats, has been hospitalized for a head wound. Abdallah was sentenced in 1987 for the murder of US diplomat Charles Robert Ray and Israeli diplomat Yacov Barsimantov in 1982 and for complicity in the 1984 assassination of the US Consul in Strasbourg, Robert Onan Homme.

19:36 New York. Oil for Food, two commission members quit. Two members of a panel investigating the Oil for Food program, Robert Patton and Miranda Duncan, are stepping down in protest of accusations that they were "two soft" on Kofi Annan.

18:31 Baghdad. Bulgarian helicopter shot down with 11 persons on board, including 6 Americans. Besides the Americans, the 3-man Bulgarian crew and two Philippino bodyguards were killed in the crash of a helicopter owned by the Bulgarian firm, Heliair. The Bulgarian Defense Minister stated that the helicopter had been brought down by a rocket near Tikrit, 180 km north of Baghdad.

18:26 Jerusalem. Gaza setters to resist evacuation, Israeli military officials predict.

18:17 Baghdad. Iraqi President Jalal Talabani says he will strive to improve relations between Baghdad and Ankara. Talabani also promised to remove Kurdish separatists from Turkey installed in northern Iraq.

18:16 Baghdad. Bombing kills a foreign security worker on the airport highway. The man worked for Aegis Defense services Ltd, a British company, says spokesperson Sarah Pearson in London. The blast destroyed the all-terrain vehicle in which he was riding.

18:46 London. Charges lodged against a British soldier for forgery of prison torture photos have been dropped. Stuart McKenzie, 25, of the Queen's Lancashire Regiment was accused of forging the photos which he turned over for publication in the Mirror. Piers Morgan, a Mirror editor, resigned after the publication.

15:02 Baghdad. Downed helicopter was Bulgarian.

13:47 Baghdad. US sources say no Americans were aboard the downed helicopter.

13:09 Baghdad. Helicopter is shot down north of the capital. Sources say the victims of the crash were all civilians.

10:40 Baghdad. One arrest in yesterday's attempted assassination of Premier.

09:17 Doha. Al Jazeera reports that a carbomb killed two American civilians in downtown Baghdad.

08:28 Baghdad. Bomb target security worker convoy.

08:01 Baghdad. Two blasts were heard coming from Baghdad airport.

02:30 The US senate approves the construction of a $592 million embassy in Baghdad. The vote passed 54 to 45. Earlier, the House had removed it from the budget as being too expensive.


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