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A blog on the current crises in the Middle East and news accounts unpublished by the US press.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

Monday, June 20, 2005

20 June 2005 Events in Iraq

Baghdad. The President of Iraqi Kurdistan, Massoud Barzani, says Iraq should being calling itself the Iraqi Federal Republic. Mr. Barzani also denied a rumor saying Turkmen in Kirkuk had been kidnapped by Kurds

Washingon. President George W. Bush says he has Iraq on his mind daily.

Kuwait City. Kuwait's first woman cabinet minister has been sworn-in amid noisy protests from Islamist politicians. Massouma al-Mubarak, the new Planning Minister, described her appointment as a "great victory" for Kuwaiti women. Tribal and Islamist MPs banged their desks and shouted in protest as she took her oath in parliament.

New York. Crude oil prices rose to a new high of more than $59 a barrel on Monday as the market was disturbed by threats to western consulates in Nigeria. US light crude hit $58.82 a barrel in European electronic trading, off a peak of $59.18 in earlier Asian trade while Brent crude hit a new high of $58.58.

Ramallah. Palestinians hope to recycle rubble of abandoned settler homes in the Gaza Strip for port construction. Palestinians also insist that hazardous materials (e.g. asbestos) be transported away by Israel and disposed of in that country. The cost of rubble removal is said to be between $50 and $60 million, which the Palestinians would not pay. Under international law, Israel is required to return the terrority in the condition in which it found it.

Kirkuk. Four Iraqis soldiers were killed in the explosion of a vehicle at a checkpoint.

Baghdad. Five police were killed and 20 wounded by two booby-trapped cars which detonated in front of a police station in southwest Baghdad. Insurgents then opened fire on police and soldiers rushing to the scene. The attack ended when US forces intervened. 18 guerrillas were killed and 14 captured.

Baghdad. Two carbombs detonated in the Mansour district of west Baghdad.

Touz Khourmatou. Three Iraqi soldiers were killed and two others wounded by a carbomb which targed their convoy.

Balad. An Iraqi solider was killed by a roadside bomb.

Doujail. A woman and her son were killed by Iraqi soldiers at a checkpoint because their car appeared to be speeding.

Baiji. Three police were killed when armed men attacked their checkpoint. Two insurgents were also killed. In the same area, an Iraqi truck driver delivering supplies to a US base was ambushed and shot dead.

Dour. The bodies of two Iraqi truck drivers ambushed three days ago were recovered by police.

Baquba. Two members of SCIRI were killed Sunday afternoon when unknown gunmen attack their home.

Bohruz. Iraqi security forces arrested 20 suspected rebels in a nighttime raid. A large weaspons caches was also discovered.

22:35 Washington. The US administraition qualified Teheran's first round of its presidential race as "non-representative"

22:31 Washington. George W. Bush entered the polemic concerning the Marine Base in Guantamo Bay by declaring, If you have questions on Guantanamo, I seriously advise you to go and give it a look.

22:38 Beirut. The anti-Syrian opposition captured control of Lebanon's parliament Monday, breaking Syria's long domination of the country, said official results. The parliament will elect a new speaker and nominate a new prime minister. The outgoing speaker and premier are pro-Syrians. The new government will have to tackle Lebanon's heavy debt, co-operate with a U.N. investigation into the Hariri assassination, and work out how to approach the deeply divisive U.N. call for Lebanon to disarm its militias--a reference to the Hezbollah group. The all-too rare Christian-Muslim solidarity that emerged after Hariri's assassination disintegrated during the campaign.

22:29 Karabila. U.S. Marines have rolled back into the desert claiming success in their latest major military operation in Iraq, but locals in the ruined town they left behind say the insurgents will be back. After four days of bombardment and street-to-street gunbattles, the Marines cleared Karabila--a strategic waystation near the main border crossing where the Euphrates flows in from Syria--of foreign fighters who made it a base. Mohammed Solfeij, 33, whose house is on the outskirts near where the Americans first entered the town, said the insurgents would be back "as soon as the Americans leave". The people are suffering. Most of them have fled to live in the desert," he said. The chief doctor at the area's main hospital in Qaim, Hamdi al-Alusi, said he counted 17 civilian dead in recent days. Every house was searched, often only after the front gate was blown off with explosives. Weapons caches were detonated on the spot bringing houses down around them. Whole streets were obliterated. To Suleiman Salim Hussein, 39, who said his brother's nine -year-old daughter Ulla Tahir was killed on Friday when a U.S. shell crashed into the house, that day cannot come too soon. We don't want anybody. No Americans, no insurgents. What we need is a government. An army. Police stations. We need a city.

22:18 Washington The United States condemned the new wave of violence on the part of Palestinian radicals and demanded the the Palestinian Authority intervent.

21:43 Baghdad. Saddam Hussein likes Doritos, washes his hands compulsively and thinks fondly of the late U.S. President Ronald Reagan, according to American soldiers who guarded him and tell their story in the July issue of GQ magazine. The jailed former Iraqi leader described how Reagan, who was president during the time of Iraq's 1980-88 war with Iran, sold him planes and helicopters. "Reagan and me, good,'" Saddam said, according to the article by Lisa DePaulo in the July issue that goes on sale June 28.

21:24 Washington. The State Department said Monday that Lebanon's elections represent an important step in consolidating the country's freedom and democracy. Spokesman Adam Ereli welcomed the Lebanese government's open and full cooperation with European Union election observers and technical assistance teams from the United Nations.

21:14 Cairo. Condoleeza Rice tells the Egyptian authorities to "believe in their own people" and criticized "arbitrary justice", violence against democracy protesters and the state of emergency in force since 1981.

20:38 Baghdad. Two million residents without water after rebels sabotage aquaduct. Temperatures are above 40 degrees centigrade.

19:04 New York. Oil at $59.23 climbs towards $60.00 per barrel.

18:51 Washington. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld mulls promotion for General Ricardo Sanchez, implicated in the Abu Ghraib scandal. Meanwhile, General George Casey may be replaced by General Bantz Craddock, former advisor to Mr. Rumsfeld and chief of the Southern Command. General Casey is expected head the US Forces Command in Norfolk, VA. Gen. Sanchez, who now commanded the Fifth Army Corps in Germany is expected to replace General Craddock.

18:49 Teheran. Goverment denies fraud in presidential elections.

18:38 Arbil. Casualty toll mounts. 12 are dead and 100 injured in a suicide bombing amidst a crowd of police recruits.

18:32 Halabja. A carbomb detonated in Halabja targeting the convoy of Anwar Haji Othman, a local security official, killing Othman and three of his bodyguards.

09:00 Khales. An Iraqi truck driver was killed by a bomb after a US convoy passed by.

18:32 Beirut. The EU has insisted on a top to bottom reform of the Lebanese electoral system. Conservative European MP José Ignacio Salafranca Sánchez-Neyra, who headed the EU mission of elections observers, reported rampant vote-buying in the south of the country and later in Békaa and Metn (center). Salafranca has also demanded an acceleration of the inquest into the assassination of reporter Samir Qassir of 2 June.

17:46 Brussels. Deputy Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohammed Al-Haj Hmoud announced the possible pullout of foreign forces from Iraq.

16:02 Kabul. Three Pakistanis armed with machine guns and grenaded were arrested in a plot to kill US Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad

14:42 Ramadi. Ansar al-Sunna said it has executed six Iraqi bodyguards and one foreigner, Binkumar Gurung [probably Nepalese--Nur], working for a US security firm. Two others were kidnapped.

14:08 Baghdad. Four persons killed and two wounded in a suicide carbombing at Checkpoint No. 1 along the Baghdad Airport highway.

13:40 Cairo. US Secretary of Stae Condoleezza Rice accuses Teheran of "organized cruelty."

13:18 Rome. Italian Defense Minister Antonio Martino says NATO will be involved in Afghanistan for at least 10 years.

12:35 Teheran. Defeated presidential candidate Mostafa Moin demands a recount.

11:19 London. Former US President Bill Clinton calls for closure of the Guantanamo prison camp.

09:14 New York. The Oil Market Report says average worldwide consumption of oil for 2005 is 84.3 barrels per day. Consumption is on the increase in North America.

08:50 New York. Oil hits historic high of $59.18. Unrest in Nigeria prompts closure of the US, British and German consulates in Lagos.

08:35 Tal Afar. US solider killed by bomb thrown at his vehicle.

08:17 Arbil. 20 municipal police killed and 50 wounded following suicide carbombing. Al-Jazeera reports 100 wounded.

08:03 Sharm al-Sheik. Condoleezza Rice visits Hosni Mubarak.

07:41 Teheran. Two newspapers banned for reporting election irregularity. Reformer Issa Saharkiz says two large-circulation reformist newspapers, Eghbal and Aftab, have been banned. The two dailies published a letter from defeated presidential candidate Mehdi Karroubi who complained of irregularities. It is unclear if the ban is for one day only or for a longer span of time.

07:32 Arbil. Suicide bomber targets recruits. One dead and 50 wounded. A suicide bomber rammed his red Toyota rouge into a stadium near police barracks where more than 200 police recruits were standing in formation. Security forces opened fire on the vehicle as it exploded.

07:19 Baghdad. Death toll in police station attack rise to nine.

06:47 Baghdad. Guerrilla attack on a police station in the Baya district kills four police. A carbomb, a grenade launcher and small calibre weapons were used.

05:32 New York. CIA chief says he knows where Bin Laden is. CIA Director Peter Goss tells Time magazine says Bin Laden his hiding in an unnamed sovereign state.

04:23 Singapore: Record price for oil: $59.18 per barrel


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