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A blog on the current crises in the Middle East and news accounts unpublished by the US press.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

Saturday, May 28, 2005

28 May 2005 Events in Iraq.

Baghdad. A body of truck driver killed in an ambush north of Baghdad was recovered.

Baghdad. A female Lebanese interpreter working for the US military was kidnapped and an Iraqi civilian was shot dead during the night by unknown gunmen.

Latifiyah. Three Iraqis, including two soldiers, were killed when their convoy came under fire.

Kirkuk. An Iraqi woman was kidnapped to force her husband to quit his job with the Northern Oil Company.

Baquba. Three men were killed by a roadside bomb which they were laying near Baquba.

23:29 London. Al Qaeda's leader in Iraq Abu Musab al-Zarqawi had fled the country after being seriously injured in a U.S. missile attack, a British newspaper reported on Sunday, quoting a senior commander of the Iraqi insurgency. Al-Zarqawi has shrapnel lodged in his chest and may have been moved to Iran, The Sunday Times newspaper reported. Meanwhile, observers speculate as to potential successors: Abu Maisara Al-Iraqi and Abu Al-Dardaa Al-Iraqi, responsible for military operations for greater Baghdad, both former colonels in the Iraq Army; Abu Azzam Al-Iraqi and Abu Saad Al-Duleïmi, in charge of Al-Anbar Province; Syrian Khaled Darwish, aka Abu Al-Ghadia.

23:14 Riyadh. Six Gulf Arab states expressed support Saturday for Palestinian efforts to return to peace negotiations with Israel and for the Jewish state to return land it occupied in the 1967 war. The countries also urged governments to keep fighting terrorism. The Gulf Cooperation Council «urged the international community to effectively cooperate to finish off this destructive plague,» said GCC secretary-general, Abdulrahman al-Attiyah, after the council's one-day consultations. GCC leaders backed efforts of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to resume peace talks that lead to establishing an independent Palestinian state, al-Attiya said. Delegates also stressed the importance of returning all occupied Arab lands to achieve just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East, he added. Participants said they supported Iraq's political process, which aims to preserve the country's unity and sovereignty, he said. The six-member GCC comprises Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman.

23:07 Ramallah. The Palestinian Authority is moving ahead on securing the coastal Gaza Strip area that Israel is to evacuate this summer, putting out a call for 5,000 new security forces, an Interior Ministry spokesman said Saturday. But although there are fears Palestinian militants will fire on Israeli targets during and after the pullout, the new recruits won't be armed, because of Israeli restrictions on the number of guns Palestinian security forces can carry, spokesman Tawfiq Abu Khousa said. Abu Khousa urged Israel to let other countries supply the Palestinian Authority with additional weapons, as they have offered to do, if it wants maximum security in Gaza. U.S. President George W. Bush wants his security envoy to the Mideast, Army Lt.-Gen. William Ward, to work with Israel and the Palestinians on coordinating the withdrawal.

22:51 Baghdad. Al-Qaida in Iraq, the militant group led by Jordanian terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, on Saturday launched a tirade against Shiite Muslims, accusing them of targeting Islam and especially Sunni Muslims. The declaration, which appeared on the Internet, appears to be an attempt to stoke hatreds and perhaps sectarian violence between hardline followers of both sects inside Iraq. There's no mosque or honor that has been violated or Muslim who has been insulted in Iraq without the help of the (Shiites), the statement, posted on an Islamic Web site, said. It accused Iraq's majority Shiites of aiding «the Jews,» apparently referring to U.S. troops and officials in Iraq. The mocking statement was allegedly posted by Abu Maysara al-Iraqi, a spokesman for the group.

22:24 Damascus. The Arab League is ready to send experts to help the Iraqis draft a new constitution, the league's secretary general said Saturday. Amr Moussa told reporters on his arrival in Damascus that the Arab League was "ready to send advisers to help and offer assistance" in writing Iraq's new constitution, in the same manner that the United Nations is aiding Iraq.

22:03 Bucharest. Released Romanian hostages send message of support to the parents of kidnapped French reporter Florence Aubenas.

21:58 Baiji. An Iraqi soldier was killed and four civilians wounded in the suicide carbombing of a joint US-Iraqi patrol.

20:36 Mosul. Carbomb kills three civilians, including a child. The target of the bomb was a US patrol.

18:00 Al Qaim. Corpses of 10 Shi'ite pilgrims discovered. 10 young Iraqi Shi'ites between the ages of 16 and 20 aboard a bus returning from the Shi'ite shrine of the Mausoleum of Lady Zainab in Damascus were shot in the head by guerrillas.

17:00 Haditha. A second US sollider was killed in an US offensive on the town of Haditha. Ten guerrillas were also reported killed.

16:23 Hillah. Three Iraqi soldiers were killed in a drive-by shooting.

14:51 Vienna. Austria may send a 100-man contingent to Afghanistan to provide security during the September elections according to a report in the daily newspaper, Die Presse.

11:49 New York: Iran denounces the United States and Israel as "nuclear menaces." The Iraninan ambassador to the United Nations, Javad Zarif, is reported as saying: There is the widespread conviction that the real threat is not only the Israeli nuclear arsenal but their policies of agression. The accusations directed at us are a smokescreen intended to mask violations of the Non-Proliferation Treaty since 1970 by Washington and its willingness to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear powers.

09:29 Mosul. Dual carbombings kill 5, including a child, and wound 40.

07:50 Tikrit. Seven persons killed, including three police, and 24 wounded in a suicide carbomb which targeted a police patrol in Tikrit. Meanwhile, a motorcycle bomb detonated at the passage of as oilfield security patrol, wounded two.

07:26 Haditha. US soldier killed.

07:10 Kirkuk. Sunni leader assassinated. Sheik Sabhan Khalaf al-Jiburi, a moderate Sunni tribal chieftain friendly to Kurds, was shot dead outside his home.

06:50 Tokyo. The Japanese Foreign Ministry confirms hostage Akihito Saito died of wounds received during an ambush on May 8th. Ansar al-Sunna made the announcement.


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