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A blog on the current crises in the Middle East and news accounts unpublished by the US press.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

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

24 May 2005 Events in Iraq

London. Foreign Minister Jack Straw officially condemns the publication of prison photos of Saddam Hussein by The Sun.

Najaf. In his first interview on Iraqi TV, Moqtada Sadr held out an olive branch to the government of Ibrahim al-Jaafari but demanded that his supporters be released from prison.

New York. Amnesty International harshly criticized the dangerous "new world order" in its annual report released this morning, singling out Washington for its "duplicity" in seeking to legalize torture.

Cairo. Opponents of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak rejected U.S. First Lady Laura Bush's interpretation of Egyptian politics, saying they could not even see the progress she was praising. There are no reform steps at all. The regime is still following the dictatorial and repressive method towards the Egyptian people and opposition, said Mohamed Habib, deputy leader of the opposition Muslim Brotherhood.

Tal Afar. Militants sprayed Baktash's house with machine-gun fire, killing two civilians and trading fire with security forces, said Col. Saleh Jamil Sultan. Now terrorists have deployed throughout Tal Afar and I consider that Tal Afar is a city that is under the terrorist control, Sultan said. A Turkmen lawmaker told parliament that ''street wars'' were raging in Tal Afar, but Iraqi and U.S. forces had not intervened.

Baghdad. The National Assembly convened Tuesday, during which a conservative Shiite lawmaker said he was appointed to head a 55-member committee charged with drafting Iraq's new constitution, which must be drawn up by mid-August and put to a referendum by October. Cleric Hammoudi, an aide to the leader of Iraq's largest Shiite Arab party, told the AP he was appointed head of the committee and two Sunni Arabs and a Kurd were appointed his deputies: Bahaa al-Araji and Mariem al-Rayess of the UIA and Hussein Mohammed Taha of the Kurdish coalition.

Baghdad. Residents called police about a suspicious-looking car parked opposite the Dijlah Junior High School for Girls in Alwiyah, near eastern Baghdad's well-known Withaq Square, a Christian neighborhood. As bomb disposal experts approached the vehicle, it exploded and killed six bystanders, said police Capt. Husham Ismael.

Baghdad. A US soldier sitting in the back of a Bradley fighting vehicle at an observation post was shot to death by gunmen in a passing car.

23:29 Managua. Two al-Qaeda members, Kenyan Ahmed Salim Swedan and a man named Altuwiti from Yemen sought for their involvement in the 1998 US embassy bombings in Tanzania and Kenya, are said to be in the area of Nicaragua, Guatemala and El Salvador. The frontiers are being watched. [I would like to howl at this lie. Excuse me. Waaaaaaaaoaooooooooooooaaaaaaaaah! Thank you for your indulgence.--Nur]

16:46 Damascus. Syrian secret police arrested 8 members of Syria's only political forum, Salon Atassi, accusing them of propaganda in favor of the banned Muslim Brotherhood. Arrested at dawn were: Forum President Souheir al-Atassi, writer Hussein al-Aoudat, moderator, Nahed Badawiyah, Hazem al-Nahar, Jihad Massouti, Mohammad Mahfouz, Abdelnasser Kalhous and Youssef Jahmani.

16:18 Najaf. Shiite lawmaker al-Khafaji was driving from Baghdad to the Shiite holy city of Najaf, south of the capital, when an assassination attempt took place, her spokesman Bahaa Hassan Hamida said. Al-Khafaji survived assassination attempts in January 2005 and May 2004, which killed her 17-year-old son. She was one of three women on the 25-member U.S.-appointed Governing Council until the transitional government took over. The Shiite delegation included secular Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Chalabi and two other legislators. Al-Khafaji returned to Baghdad after the botched ambush.

16:00 Rochester, NY. Sister Grace Miller, Director of the House of Mercy, and Philosophy Professor Harry Murray of Nazareth College were charged with disorderly conduct, obstructing governmental administration and resisting arrest as they exercised their ~assumed~ right to free speech by protesting Bush's visit to my home town.

15:47 Cairo. The Secretary General of the Arab League Amr Moussa says Sharon's racist statements about Arabs are "nothing new".

15:34 Baghdad. The Iraqi government seeks to re-arrest former Ba'athist Ghazi Hammoud Al Ubeidi who was just released from detention for reasons of bad health.

15:21 Baghdad. A former Iraqi minister will appear in court on Wednesday in the first government corruption case to be brought since the fall of Saddam Hussein. Layla Abdul Latif, labour minister in Iyad Allawi's interim government, faces a preliminary hearing into allegations that she misused public money. She denies any wrongdoing. Besides Latif's case, a judge is also expected to hear allegations of corruption at the Transport Ministry. Latif said she would attend the hearing. Transparency International, a global corruption watchdog, said in a report earlier this year that Iraq was in danger of becoming "the biggest corruption scandal in history", with incidents ranging from petty bribery to massive embezzlement, expropriation and profiteering.

15:11 Ramallah. Abu Mazen will not oppose a delay in the legislative elections.

13:22 Ankara. A 48 year-old Turkish businessman has been kidnapped and held hostage until his firm quits its activities in Iraq.

13:18 Baghdad. Carbomb kills three US soldiers. Three U.S. soldiers were killed Tuesday in central Baghdad when a car bomb exploded next to their convoy at about 13:30, said military spokesman Sgt. David Abram.

13:11 Kabul. Suicide bomb alert until 29 May. There are threats of suicide bombings in the Afghan capital.

12:27 Kabul. The Afgani government suggests that patience will be necessary before Italian hostage Clementina Cantoni is released.

12:23 Brussels. NATO announces revised relationship with Tashkent. NATO officially condemned the use of violence on the part of the Karimov government. NATO is profoundly taken aback by the recent violence in Uzbekistan; we condemn the excessive and disproportionate use of force by Uzbek security. We support the request by the United Nations for an international independent investigation of these events and we urgently ask that the Uzbek authorities consent to this investigation.

11:13 Baghdad. Former Saddam collaborator Ghazi Hammoud al-Obeidi was released from prison due to his poor state of health. However, Premier Ibrahim al Jafaari wants him rearrested. Al-Obeidi was the ex-Governor of Wasit Province and suffers from cancer.

11:07 Teheran. The Iranian daily Etemad reports that 4 police and a drug trafficker were killed along the Caspian Sea on a highway linking Shaboksar and Ramsar. A automobile was stopped at a checkpoint when shooting broke out as the car was being searched, killing two police. The car took off, pursued by Islamic militiamen (Basiji) on motorcycle. One militia man was killed along with a trafficker in a second gunbattle.

10:13 New York. Sharon makes racist remarks about Arabs. Their agreements, declaraction and speeches are not worth the paper they are written on.

10:09 Beirut. Former Maronite warlord Michel Aoun will run in legislative elections.

09:30 Baghdad. Six dead in carbombing.

09:08 Baghda. Car bombing in capital.

09:00 Baghdad. Dragnet snares 403 alleged insurgents during operation "Squeeze Play" conducted by US and Iraq troops.

08:00 Tall Afar. Death toll in car bombings rises to 34. Yesterday's dual car bombing claims more lives. However, the PKK says 35 are dead and 25 wounded.

07:36 Damascus: Syria suspends cooperation with the USA. Syrian Ambassador to the United States Imad Moustapha says Damascus will end all cooperation with the USA, including military and intelligence links.

07:24 Kabul. Two Uzbeks working for the USA were killed along the highway between Kabul and Kandahar.

07:06 Tashkent. Dissident arrested. The Uzbek authorities arrested human rights activist Saidiahon Zaynabitdinov.

02:18 Washington. Hayden Schaeffer, the Cessna 150 pilot who violated the airspace over Washington DC on May 11, had his pilot's licence suspended by the FAA.

01:31 Washington. Senate alarm. A Cessna aircraft violated airspace over Washington DC around midnight. The Senate suspended its business as the aircraft was forced to land in Gaithernsburg, MD.


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