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A blog on the current crises in the Middle East and news accounts unpublished by the US press.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, June 04, 2005

4 June 2005 Events in Iraq

Balad. Three Iraqi soldiers killed and two wounded in suicide car bombing.

Baghdad. 170 people including seven foreign fighters were arrested in Baghdad as part of Operation Lightning.

Baghdad. Police found the body of an unidentified dead man who had been bound and shot in the head in the east of the capital.

Jerusalem. The office of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon says there has been no confirmation by the Palestinian Authority to Mr. Sharon's invitation to meet on 21 June in Jerusalem.

20:47 Kuwait City. The Speaker of the Kuwaiti Parliament assailed US Ambassador Richard LeBaron for insisting that Kuwait adopt an anti-Iranian stance. A spokesman for Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Hamid Reza Assefi criticized the Defense Minister for having invited the US Ambassador to give such a speech at a closed-door conference at Kuwait's military academy.

20:45 Ramallah. Palestinian Authority President Mahmood Abbas announced the postponement sine die of the Palestinian legislative elections set for 17 July. Fatah reported feared a victory by Hamas. Meanwhile, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine issued a communiqué saying one of its leaders was arrested in Jerusalem by the Israeli Army.

21:39 Cairo. New anti-Mubarek movement born. Ex-Premier Aziz Sedki, in power from 1972 to 1973, breathed new life into the opposition saying he would lead a movement, National Coalition, to end the 24 year-old presidence of Hozni Mubarek.

19:35 Latifiyah. US-Iraqi sweep arrests suspected rebels.

19:23 Mosul. Police Commandant Bassam Yahya Fathi was shot dead by unknown gunmen travelling in a white Opel.

19:08 Ramallah. President Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday announced a sine die delay in the Palestinian parliamentary elections, angering the militant group Hamas which had been expected to do well in its first legislative race. In a public decree, Abbas said he had decided to postpone the July 17 poll to allow time to resolve a dispute over proposed reforms to the voting law. Hamas called the postponement a "violation of the Palestinian national interest" and of understandings it reached with Abbas to abide by a truce he declared with Israel in February. Abbas, in an interview with al-Arabiya television, said cracking down on militant groups such as Hamas would result in civil war. Meanwhile, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine issued a communiqué saying one of its leaders was arrested in Jerusalem by the Israeli Army.

18:30 Baku (Azerbaijan) - Ten thousand people entered the main sqare of Baku to protest lack of freedom in their country. Demonstrators held up portraits of George W. Bush, chanting "We want freedom". Opposition leader Ali Kerimli said that if the November vote is not free and fair, prepare to see every village rise up to demand the resignation of President Ilham Aliyev.

18:37 Ankara. A Turkish company appealed Saturday for the release of one of its partners who was kidnapped in Baghdad by insurgents, saying the businessman and the company had no ties with any U.S. company or the U.S. military. The company said Ali Musluoglu, who has been missing since May 19, would never return to Iraq if he were released. His brother, Ahmet, added that the family-owned transport company was not now doing business in Iraq and would not do any business there in the future.

18:29 Vienna. US and EU-3 (Germany, France and Great Britain) determined to get Iran to renounce its nuclear ambitions.

18:26 Damascus. Syria reasserted its right to self-defense and accused Israel of participating in Washington-led pressure on Syria. Damascus also rejected Israeli Foreign Minister Shalom's charge that Syria was behind the assassination of former Lebanese PM Rafik Hariri.

18:14 Mosul. Iraqi forces have seized a senior militant leader linked to Jordanian mastermind Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and accused of overseeing an array of deadly attacks in Iraq, the Defence Ministry said on Saturday. A spokesman for the ministry said Mullah Mahdi, sometimes known as Prince of Princes or Abu Abdul Rahman, was detained after a raid backed by U.S. troops on Friday in the northern city of Mosul, where insurgents have built a base of operations.

18:10 Paris. French radical Islamist Boubaker el-Hakim, 21, was charged before a Paris court for recruiting fighters for Iraq. El-Hakim was detained in Syrian and turned over to French authorities.

17:56 Rutba. An Iraqi national guard unit has been disbanded after it refused to attend a military training academy overseen by U.S. advisers, former members of the unit said on Saturday. The soldiers, part of a 90-strong force that calls itself the Defence Force of Rutba, said they feared reprisals from locals if they were seen to have cooperated with the Americans. A former soldier in the force, Ahmed Dhahi, said the disagreement began two months ago when he said the U.S. military first raised the idea of them attending a training course. They told us we had no right to refuse, they said the duty of soldiers was to obey orders, but we said 'We are Iraqis, not Americans, we don't follow orders from Americans'.

17:56 Arbil. Kurdish Parliament meets for the first time since the January elections. Our sacred mission is to draft a Constitution which guarantees equality to all members of society and which will protect democratic and federal freedoms. Parliament met before a giant portrait of Moustafa Barzani, the father of Kurdish nationalism. The Parliament represents the provinces of Arbil, Dohuk and Souleimaniyah.

16:36 Baghdad. Saddam and his principal collaborators will go on trial within three months, reports the Saudi daily Al-Awsat in an interview with Judge Raed Jouhi.

14:14 Washington. The US Senate to investigate Guantanamo. The decision was taken after Amnesty International's report on mistreatment in US detention centers.

14:09 Rome. Giuliana Sgrena's lawyer says at least two and possible three different weapons were fired at the car in which Nicola Calipari was travelling.

07:37 Baghdad. Unknown gunmen shot dead a motorist in the Aamen district of Baghdad then loaded his car with explosives. When police arrived, the explosives were detonated by remote control, wounding two police. The blast set two other cars ablaze.


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