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A blog on the current crises in the Middle East and news accounts unpublished by the US press.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

Friday, July 22, 2005

22 July Events in Iraq

Amman. Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari met with accredited Arab and Asian ambassadors to Iraq to discuss the security situation for foreign missions in Baghdad.

Baghdad. Two police commandos shot dead.

Baghdad. Two civilians killed by a roadside bomb south of the capital.

Washington. Pentagon paints uncertain picture for Congress. The Pentagon presented a confidential list of needs for securing Iraq to US Congress, with no mention of a possible end to the US military mission there. Its report on the readiness of Iraqi troops was vague.

Ankara. Turkey presses Syrian to enforce border security. Abdullah Gül, Turkish Minister for Foreign Affairs, delivered the message to Walid Mouallem, Deputy Syrian Foreign Minister, in Ankara.

Baghdad. Saddam Hussein questioned on crimes against Shi'a Kurds, the Failis, committed in the early 80's. Al-Arabiya aired a video of the interrogation. Saddam Hussein responded to the charges by accusing the current government of being a puppet of the Americans.

Baghdad. Gunmen reportedly opened fire on a car carrying a newlywed couple and family in the Dora area of the city.

Baghdad. Three police officers were killed in two separate shootings - one in the Ghadeer neighbourhood, the other in the eastern Baladiyat district. Three more officers directing traffic were then killed in nearby Mashtal.

Baghdad. The bodies of two policemen, who were brothers, were discovered east of the capital. They were shot through the chest and head, having been taken from their home by gunmen on Thursday.

Latifiya. Two civilians are reported to have been killed by a bomb explosion that was aimed at but missed a police convoy.

Algiers. The Algerian foreign ministry has said it is doing all it can to free its two diplomats kidnapped in Baghdad on Thursday. But a spokesman said there had been no claim of responsibility for the kidnap and it was still unknown who was behind it. Chargé d’affaires Ali Belaroussi, 62, and Azzedin Belkadi, 47, were kidnapped by armed men as they were in their car 100 meters from the embassy.

21:18 Aden. Shopkeepers have closed their businesses in this south Yemen port city out of fear of looting by rioters protesting the hike in gasoline prices.

15:51 London. Underground train drivers prepared to go on strike. Hundreds of tube drivers refused to go to work citing fear of terrorist attacks. Bobby Law, spokesman for the Railway and Maritime Transit Workers, says train operators stopped work "out of fear for their lives."

15:32 Fallujah. A US Marine was killed by a homemade bomb.

15:29 Stockholm. A Swedish national of Lebanese origin, Osama Abdullah Kassir, suspected of links to the July 7 London bombings has promised "punishment" to Sweden should he be extradited to Britain.

15:51 Baghdad. A prominent Sunni Arab cleric Friday denounced Kurdish proposals to transform Iraq into a federal state as a plot to deny other Iraqis «our wealth and resources.» «There are conspiracies being prepared to deny us our wealth and resourses,» Sheik Mahmoud al-Sumaidaie told worshippers during a sermon at the Umm al-Qura mosque.

15:42 Damascus. Syria claims its border guards have been fired on by U.S. and Iraqi troops and has accused the United States and Britain of failing to give it required equipment to keep insurgents from crossing from here into Iraq. Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem said Syrian border guards had been fired on «not only by infiltrators but by U.S. and Iraqi forces.» It cited «about 100 armed clashes, some of which were carried out by American soldiers who opened fire randomly on those present near the (sand) barrier as a result of losing control,» said the statement.

14:37 Tikrit. No friends or relatives were present at the tombs of Saddam Hussein's sons Udaï, Qussaï and his grandson Mustafa, on the anniversay of their death in a siege of their residence in Mossul. We cannot go because we're afraid that the Americans have installed hidden cameras in the graveyard and plan on arresting us, said Ahmad al-Khattab, a cousin.

14:22 Rome. Foreign Minister Gianfranco Fini dismisses the equation Islam = terrorism.

13:54 Beirut. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice made a surprise noonday visit to Beirut. Rice called on Saad Hariri, leader of the largest coalition in Lebanese parliament. She then visited the tomb of Rafik Hariri, following by talks with President Emile Lahoud, pro-syrien.

13:17 London. British police confirm that its agents have killed a man in the Stockwell underground station.

12:49 London. Report of bomb at a mosque in Whitechapel was a hoax. Police had evacutated the area.

10:29 Samarra. Four dead, including police and insurgents, in clashes. Eleven are wounded.

09:49 Beijing. The explosive used in the 7 July London bombings was not of Chinese manufacture, says Chinese Foreign Ministry.

09:37 Jerusalem. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice flew by helicopter for talks at Sharon's ranch in southern Israel. Sharon's office said the two also discussed U.S. aid to help pay for the withdrawal. The Jewish state is seeking hundreds of millions of dollars to help relocate army bases and develop regions where many of the settlers are likely to be moved. [$1.2 billion, to be precise--Nur]. A senior U.S. official denied Israeli media reports that Rice had proposed a summit to bring together Israel and Arab countries after the pullout, saying the U.S. focus after the withdrawal would be on revitalising the road map.

09:03 Baghdad. At least five people were killed in two separate attacks in which automatic weapons fired from speeding cars. Assailants opened fire on a police patrol car in the western district of al-Baladayat, killing two police and wounding a third. A half-hour later in the same neighborhood, another policeman was killed behind the wheel of his patrol car; two bystanders were also killed.

08:41 Baghdad. Attack on police patrol gravely wounds one.

06:34 Washington. US Treasury blocks funds of six nephews of Saddam Hussein. Six sons of Sabawi Ibrahim Hasan al-Tikriti, the step-brother of Saddam Hussein, have had their assets frozen on the grounds that they support the insurgency in Iraq.


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