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A blog on the current crises in the Middle East and news accounts unpublished by the US press.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, July 23, 2005

23 July Events in Iraq

Baghdad. An Interior Ministry employee was gunned down.

Baghdad. Body of a 50 year-old man, bound and bullet-riddled, was found outside the capital.

Baghdad. The body of the brother of two kidnapped and slain police was recovered.

Beirut. Several hurt in Beirut car blast. Several people have been injured in an explosion on a street in the Lebanese capital by a bomb placed under a car near Rue Monot. The street, filled with restaurants and nightclubs, has a bustling nightlife. The explosion came hours after US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice left the city after a brief, unannounced visit.

23:59. Sharm el-Sheikh. 35 arrested by Egyptian authorities in dragnet on Sinai peninsula.

23:35 London. Scotland Yard admits execution of a Brazilian electrician in the Stockwell Underground station was an error.

23:30 Jerusalem. In her visit to the Middle East, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice relayed a concern expressed by Palestininans by demanding that the Gaza Strip not be isolated following the Israeli pullout. "We want to see links between Gaza and the West Bank so that Palestinians may enjoy openness and freedom of movement." However, no agreement was reached concerning such links.

23:27 Gaza. Armed Palestinian militants shot dead an Israeli couple at the Kissoufim passage used by settlers of Goush Katif as US Secretary of State concluded her visit to the region. Meanwhile, three Israelis were wounded in a mortar attack less than two kilometers from the checkpoint.

22:05 Dubai. Video released by group linked to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi showing execution of Egyptian charge d'affaires Ihab al-Sharif by his kidnappers. The video also makes reference to the Israeli presence on the Sinai Peninsula and an "agreement" between Egypt and Israeli to divide up the peninsula into four sectors, including a visa-free area accessible to foreigners and Israelis.

21:21 London. Several Muslim organizations express indigation at the execution of a man by British police in the Stockwell Underground station. The Islamic Commission on Human Rights, The Muslim Council of Britain and the Muslim Association of Britain express concern at slaying based on suspicion.

21:09 Istanbul. Two dead in restaurant explosion near the historic Galata Bridge.

21:02 Jerusalem. Egypt and Israel will conclude an agreement next week nfor the deployment of 750 Egyptian border guards in the Gaza Strip near the Palestinian city of Rafah. Sharon is said to have spoken about it with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice during her visit to Sharon's estate, The Sycamores. [This deployment is illegal per the Camp David accords--Nur].

19:29 London. British police conduct raid in southwest London.

18:25 London. A man shot in the head five times by police in the Stockwell Underground Station had nothing to do with the failed bombings of 21 July 05.

17:52 London. Police cordon off Wormwood Scrubs park because of a suspect package.

13:07 Baghdad. Al-Qaeda claims credit in kidnapping of Algian diplomat Ali Belaroussi and another embassy member, kidnapped from a restaurant in the al-Mansur district where they were dining.

12:19 London. Chinese yuan rises after London's 21 July failed bombings. Chinese revaluation of their currency also causes a $1.52 increase in the price of light crude per barrel (now at $58.00) and a $1.82 increase in Brent (now at $57.58 per barrel).

12:07 Sharm el-Sheikh. Death toll rises to 83.

12:00 Moscow. Putin decries bombing attacks "on the civilized world."

11:58 Olbia (Sardinia). Former Premier Jose' Maria Aznar is on vacation along the Costa Smeralda and a guest of Silvio Berlusconi at his sprawling estate, La Certosa. Aznar arrived Thursday with his family. [Guess Berlusconi wants to poke Zapatero, who is declared persona non grata in Washington, in the eye.--Nur]

11:24 Sharm el-Sheikh. "The Martyr Abdullah Azzam Brigades" have claimed credit for the resort bombings. Meanwhile Egyptian authorities are rounding up Beduins suspected of involvement in the bombings. [See Juan Cole's site for details and analysis--Nur].

10:35 Karma. Three police killed by rebels near Fallujah.

12:16 London: Mile End Underground Station evacuated after unidentified "incident".

12:08 Baghdad. Indian businessman kidnapped.

10:26 Sharm el-Sheikh. Death toll in bombings rises to 75. [I would like to editorialize here. Following the Indian Ocean tsunamis, the press carried photos of vacationers sunning themselves as soon as the dead were carted off the beach. This seemed callous, incredibly self-centered and totally oblivious to the magnitude of tragedy. Well, today there are busloads of Israeli tourists at the crossing into Egypt heading for Sharm el-Sheikh for a vacation, despite the carnage. What a prevalent, hard-hearted attitude: Who cares? As long as I get mine!]

08:29 Washington. Bush administration opposes prisoner treatment legislation. A bill is before US Congress outlawing "cruel, inhuman or degrading" treatment and encouraging Red Cross monitoring of prision conditions". To head off passage of the bill, Vice President Dick Cheney has met with Republican legislators Sen. John Warner of Virginia, Sen. John McCain of Arizona [He should have a vested interest, wouldn't you say?--Nur] and Lindsay Graham of South Carolina, all members of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

07:22 London. In a report in the Times, police claim suicide bombers may have access to a "dirty bomb" using biological, chemical or nuclear components.

07:14 Sharm el-Sheikh. At least 50 are dead and 200 wounded in a series of attacks targeting outdoor markets and hotels in the resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh. A suicide carbomb was driven into the lobby of the Hotel Ghazala Gardens - Naama Bay, killing French, Dutch, Qatari, Kuwaiti, Egyptian, British, Spanish, Saudi, Ukranian, Russian tourists. Shocked survivors described scenes of deflagration and body parts lying in the street. A bomb in a cafe in the resort's souk killed several Egyptian workers.

04:02 Washington. A growing number of Americans fear the war in Iraq is undermining the fight against terrorism and raising the risk of terrorist attacks in the United States, a poll found. Almost half, 47 percent, say the war in Iraq has hurt the fight against terrorism _ the highest number to say that since the war began in March 2003, according to the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press.


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