24 June 2005 Events in Iraq (and Elsewhere)
Jerusalem. Agriculture Minister announces a plan to double the number of settlers in the Jordan Valley (currently 6,300 in 21 settlements).
Bilin (West Bank). Israeli forces shot rubber bullets at Israeli and foreign demonstrators protesting the security wall. Five were wounded.
Jenin. Palestinian security forces arrest armed activists. One police officer was killed.
Ottawa. Brawl at Israeli Embassy. Embassy workers fought for reasons related to the former and current Ambassadors to Canada, Haïm Dibon and Alen Baker.
Beirut. Funeral for slain journalist George Hawi. Thousands jam the streets of Beirut in a rose petal-strewn funeral procession for George Hawi. The entire Lebanese political community was present.
Cairo. Al-Azhar, the highest Sunni authority, has authorized the publication of a 1830 book by President Bush's great-great-grandfather, Reverend George Bush, in which he declares Mohammed an imposter and Muslims "heretics". The tiny publishing house of Book Tree reprinted the book in 2002.
Washington. The United States has stepped up its campaign to isolate Syria from the international community.
Fallujah. Tensions are high as the populace is ordered to remain indoors by US troops [however few they are--Nur]
Gaza. Israeli police and army units prepare to assault the Maoz Ha Yam hotel in the Neve Dekalim settlement where dozens of ultraconservative settlers are barricaded to protest the evacuation of the Gaza Strip.
Siniya. Two Iraqis were killed and four wounded by morter shells which fell in a US military base in the area of Siniya, near Baïji, 200 km north of Baghdad.
Mosul. Two civilians were killed and four wounded, victims of a drive-by shooting at a bus stop.
Mosul. Four armed men were killed when they attempted to place a roadside bomb between Touz and Tikrit.
Mosul. A police lieutenant and a civilian were killed east of Mosul in a drive-by shooting. However, hospital sources say five people were wounded.
Samarra. US soldiers killed an insurgent.
Kirkuk. Three police were wounded by a roadside bomb which struck their convoy.
Khan Bani Saad. Police discovered the bullet-ridden and decapitated corpses of five brothers and a cousin, all Shi'ites. A relation of the men, Mahmoud al-Tamimi, says he saw three vehicles with loudspeakers and passengers dressed in military uniform who said they were part of a police rapid reaction team dispatched to search the home of the slain civilians. Al-Tamimi says they were taken away and shot. We went to the police and they told us they hadn't sent out a patrol during the night.
Doulouhiya. Iraqi police recovered the corpses of four bound and gagged police who had be shot to death.
Karbala. Police found the bodies of a woman and her two children who had been shot to death.
Latifiyah. Two police were wounded by gunfire as they were returing to Karbala.
Baghdad. A bomb went off as a U.S. military convoy was passing on Canal highway near Baghdad's Sadr City.
Baghdad. Clashes between police and insurgents. One policeman was killed and a soldier was abducted in west Baghdad.
Washington. Iraqi Premier Ibrahim Jaafari said that the Iraqi Special Tribunal is wasting time. Jaafari tells the Senate Foreign Relations Comitee says that he has spoken with the principal judge to speed things up towards a trial of Saddam Hussein, for whom, according to Jaafari, there is no crime which Saddam Hussein hasn't committed. Meanwhile, Justice Minister Abdel Hussein al-Shandal says the trial will not start before 2006.
23:38 Teheran. After 8.6 million votes have been counted, conservative Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is leading with 61.2% of the vote. There are 47 million Iranian voters.
21:00 Fallujah. CBS reports that five women Marines were killed in today's suicide bombing. Among the missing are 2 Marines and one US sailor.
22:46 Teheran. Both candidates declare victory. Both Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and radical conservative Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have claimed victory in the second round of Iran's presidential elections. A source close to Rafsanjani, Mohammad Atrianfar, said that he had won the elections with 55% of the vote and that a victory by Ahmadinejad wound be synonymous with fraud. We know that there have been massive irregulariites to intimidate voters and that the Bassidj militias have played a role. Reform candidates accused the Guardians of the Revolution and the Bassidj militia of committing acts of voter fraud during the first round of the elections. A source close to the Ministry of Interior said women were kept from voting in north Teheran, a Rafsanjani bastion. Rafsanjani supporters fear that a victory by Ahmadinejad will lead to a return to the severity witnessed at the start of the Islamic Revolution.
21:49 Teheran. Five representatives of ultra-conservative presidential candidate Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called on the Ministry of the Interior to ensure that there is no fraud in vote-counting. They also objected to the extension by one hour of all polling stations. Meanwhile, the ultra-conservative newspaper Kayhan has already printed its Saturday edtiion with the news of a victory by Mr. Ahmadinejad.
21:53 New York. Oil edged up again towards $60 per barrel.
21:39 Washington. Former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski criticized the tactical and strategic incompentence in the management of the war on Iraq. Brzezinski has asked Bush for a "plan setting out the principal elements of a strategy for success in Iraq." Patriotism and love of country do not demand an endless sacrifice from our troops in a war justified by slogans. The country deserves an honest explanation of how we have come to find ourselves in Iraq. And we deserve a realistic assessment of success in a war which is looking more and more like a quagmire. America is more isolated than ever, and it the object of unprecedented international defiance. [And this is from the man who suggested sending Bin Laden to Afghanistan. Like he can claim any high ground!--Nur].
18:02 Washington. Bush says there is no timetable for the withdrawal of troops from Iraq.
17:24 Baghdad. A representative of Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani was killed along with two of his bodyguards. Samir al-Baghdadi, who was in a convoy travelling from the Doura quarter to the al-Jadida district, was killed. A third bodyguard is seriously wounded. There is no comment from the offices of Ayatollah Sistani.
17:18 Teheran. Voting had ended in the second round of the Iranian presidential election. The polls were kept open an extra hour.
16:58 Fallujah. Two US marines were killed, thirteen are wounded wounded and four are missing after a suicide bombing in Fallujah. Some of the casualties are women.
16:07 Milan. Italian justice official Guido Salvini says the kidnapping of Abu Omar [off the streets of Milan by the CIA] was "not only illegal, violating Italy's sovereignty, but a nefarious act and damaging to the war on terrorism. If CIA agents hadn't acted jumped the gun, it is likely that "Abu Omar would have faced legitimate legal procedures conducted by Italian magistrates." Salvini added that in consideration of the high level of professionalism of Italian investigators and investigation agencies, important revelations concerning the recruitment of militants and Islamic fundamentalism would have been uncovered.
15:59 Teheran. The Minister of the Interior is investigating possible voting irregularities and has suspended balloting at several voting stations. A student press agency, ISNA, reported the presence of Islamist militia members inside polling stations.
15:30 London. Ahead of the G-8 meeting in Gleneagles, Condoleezza Rice said in an interview published in the London Arab daily, Asharq al-Awsat, that the United States does not intend to topple the Syrian regime. In a separate interview with al-Hayat, Rice said she hoped Egypt would not disappoint the international community and the Egyptian people in the way it will run the upcoming election.
15:50 Najaf. Students arrested in Najaf. A group of students was arrested by local police for wearing jeans and having long hair. Spokesman Mohammed Jassim said the arrests occurred two weeks ago. Najaf police contested the statement by the students. We haven't taken away anyone's liberty. We arrested them but when we realized that they were students, we let them go with a warning, said Col Nadjah Yassir, Commander of the Tho Alfakar Brigades.
15:27 Damascus. Syria had adopted a conciliatory tone towards accusations by Washington, Paris and London on its alleged role in the destabilization of Lebanon. Syria also invited credentialed diplomats in Syria to vist the border with Iraq, where monitoring has been stepped up.
15:20 Istanbul. The World Tribunal on Iraq (WTI), an organization created by NGOs and world notables to condemn the war on Iraq and the occupation, held its first session criticizing the United States. With two wars and 13 years of criminal sanctions, the United States are responsible for more deaths in Iraq than Saddam Hussein, said US reporter Larry Everest, one of the "lawyers" responsible for arguing the case against the USA. The foreman of the jury, Indian novelist Arundhati Roy, author of The God of Small Things, declared that The proof gathered by this tribunal should be used by the International Criminal Court, whose jurisdiction is not recognized by the United States.
15:10 Ramallah. During a visit to the Palestinian territories, South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki-Moon announced a million dollar grant to equip Palestinian schools with computers.
14:48 Fallujah. A convoy of marines was struck by a suicide carbomb in Fallujah. Casualties are reported.
13:58 Milan. Arrest warrant for Abu Omar. A warrant for the ex-imam of the Milan mosque, Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr, also known as Abu Omar, has been issued by Guido Salvini, the Milan Investigating Magistrate. Yesterday Magistrate Chiara Nobili issued 13 arrest warrents for 13 CIA agents in Italy. A second senior Italian investigator said it was possible that the government had approved the operation because the C.I.A. operatives had operated openly and without apparent concern about being detected. The American agents used their Italian cellphones at the precise moment Mr. Nasr was abducted; they kept the phones switched on for hours at a time, making it easier to track their movements; and they dialed many phone numbers in the United States, most of them in northern Virginia, including at least one number at agency headquarters.
13:29 Mosul. Woman is killed. A mortar attack missed a police academy and landed on a residence, killing an Iraqi woman.
06:29 Washington. Premier Ibrahim Jaafari attacked al-Jazeera TV and other Arab media, accusing them of giving a false impression of disorder in Iraq and of encouraging terrorism.
05:05 Washington. Iraqi Premier Ibrahim Jaafari estimates that significant progress has been made in reducing the number of insurgent attacks, adding that the American people should be proud of their contribution in liberating Iraq.