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A blog on the current crises in the Middle East and news accounts unpublished by the US press.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

Sunday, July 03, 2005

3 July 2005 Events in Iraq

Baghdad. Sadr lieutenant freed. Mohammed Tabtabaï Hakim was freed by US forces after one year in prison. Hakim was arrested during the siege of Najaf last summer.

Baghdad. SCIRI member Abdel Kazem Abdallah was shot dead.

Algiers. An Egyptian suspected of links to al-Zarqawi was arrested, reports Arab newspaper al-Khabar. Yasser al Masri, aka Abu Jihad, was arrested by Algieran security forces.

Baghdad. Talabani demands the immediate return of Kurds to Kirkuk. Both Iraqi President Jalal Talabani and Kurdish Regional President Massoud Barzani demand the return of all Kurds to Kirkuk immediately and not after adoption of the new Constitution. Article 58 of the interim Fundamental Law put in place under Paul Bremer stipulates that the government must, within a reasonable amount of time, allow the return of all Kurds displaced from Kirkuk. This is one of the most divisive issues causing tensions between the Shi'a and the Kurds.

23:50 Baghdad. Two groups of insurgents have designated an official spokesman for the first time. In an internet communiqué, the Islamic Army of Iraq and the Muhajedeen Army announced that their spokeman would be Yussef al-Shammari. The Islamic Army held French reporters Georges Malbrunot and Christian Chesnot hostage for month and claimed responsibility for the execution of Italian reporter Enzo Baldoni last August.

22:03 Jerusalem. The Israeli Army announced that it has foiled the plans of Lebanese Hezbollah to enter Israel in order to kidnap Israeli soliders.

22:26 Jerusalem. An Israeli border guard died from wounds received during a Palestinian protest against the Security Wall. Mathan Yassis, 21, tried to protect laborers from a stone-throwing group of protesters.

21:26 Baghdad. Suicide attack targets police. A suicide bomber attacked a police patrol on the road to Baghdad Airport.

20:48 Baghdad. A journalist for al-Arabiya, based in Dubaï, is expected home after having been arrested for possessing a video of Fallujah. Waël Issam is en route for Dubaï, after having been cleared of wrongdoing" announced al-Arabiya Programming Director Hisham al-Dib.

19:42 US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales arrives in Iraq on a surprise visit. Gonzales will meet with Iraqi Interior and Justic Ministry officials. Some 400 US Justice Department employees are in Baghdad to assist the Iraqis with preparations for the trial of Saddam Hussein.

18:59 Baghdad. Government recognizes prison brutality. Iraqi government recognizes that its security forces are guity of the same kind of brutal torture practised by Saddam Hussein, The Observer on Sunday reports. The British Ministry of Defence says it will press Iraq to investigate claims of torture by security forces after a report that UK aid was being misused. The Observer said it had evidence that suspects had been subject to burning, strangulation, sexual abuse, hanging by the arms, the breaking of limbs and - in one case - the use of an electric drill for a knee-capping. Since the end of the Iraq war the MoD has spent £27m on aid to the Iraqi police for guns, ammunition, vehicles and body armour. But The Observer said aid had ended up in the hands of commandos operating out of Iraq's Ministry of the interior. It alleged there was a secret network of "ghost" detention centres, and that torture had even gone on within the Ministry of the Interior itself.

18:52 Washington. President George W. Bush has announced the inclusion of the Palestinian conflict on the G-8 agenda.

18:22 Damascus. Syrian forces killed an Algerian activist on the border with Lebanon during a gunfight. Two soldiers were also killed. Hezbollah-controlled Al-Manar TV, reported the clash occurred near Homs when a group of men returning from Iraq attempted to enter Lebanon.

18:13 Washington. Karl Rove, political advisor to George W. Bush, has been identified as the source of a leak to journalists identifying the wife of Ambassador Joseph Wilson as a CIA operative.

17:44 Manama. Iran has protested the printing of a caricature of Ali Khamenei in the Bahraini press. The Iranian Foreign Ministry has summoned the Bahraini Ambassador in Teheran to caution against future examples of "lack of respect" towards the Iranian head of state, reports the Bahraini newspaper Al-Ayyam.

17:34 Baghdad. Sabotage carried out against Iraqi oil installations has cost that country $11.35 billion over the last two years.

17:11 Baghdad. Laith Kubba, spokesman for Prime Minister al-Jaafari, said that his goverment was ready to deal with "rebels resisting foreign forces."

16:53 Teheran. The Turkish mobile phone company Turkcell has accepted a contract to build Iran's second mobile phone network.

16:04 Baghdad. The Iraqi government, exasperated by the increasing loss of civilian life through US military blunders, has decided to demand a clarification from the highest levels of US government.

14:57 Teheran. Iran has informed the European Union that any proposal concerning the future of its nuclear activities would be rejected if it did not recognize the "right" of the Iranian Islamic Republic to pursue such technologies.

08:03 Jerusalem. An Israeli Arab who was beaten and left for dead on the beach in Tel-Aviv has died. He was beaten to death after having refused a cigarette to two Jewish Israeli thugs. The identity of the pair was not released.

08:00 Baghdad. The head of the Egyptian diplomatic mission to Baghdad, Ihab al-Shérif, was kidnapped today, one month following his nomination. Al-Sherif, 51, had just parked his jeep Cherokee on Rabiah Street in a commercial district of Baghdad when two white BMWs pulled up and men got out with guns drawn. Al-Sharif was struck on the back of the head with a gunhandle and forced bleeding into the trunk of one of the cars. Al-Sherif holds a PhD from the Sorbonne, is married and has two daughters.


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