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A blog on the current crises in the Middle East and news accounts unpublished by the US press.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

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

10 August 2005 Events in Iraq

Beirut. The final UN report on the assassination of Rafik Hariri will be completed by mid-September.

Baghdad. Iraq's political leaders met again to iron out differences over the Iraqi Constitution. Powerful Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani reaffirmed his determination to defend Kurdish positions, notably its refusal to accept an Islamic state, the intention to retain the peshmerga fighers, the demand of a share in Iraq's national resources and its insistence on the provisions of of Article 58 of the Fundamental Law which stipulates the Kurdish right of return to Kirkuk, which had been "Arabized" by Saddam Hussein.

Habbaniyah. US patrol attacked.

Baghdad. Premier al-Jaafari acknowledged that mortar rounds had been fired from Iraq into Kuwaiti territory in a border dispute which began in July.

Baghdad. The remains of Italian reporter Enzo Baldoni, kidnapped and executed in August 2004 by the Islamic Army of Iraq, have been identified following DNA analysis.

Baghdad. The newly installed Shi'ite Mayor of Baghdad, Hussein al-Tahhan, denied reports that he had taken city hall by force and insisted that he is merely a placeholder pending the appointment by Premier al-Jaafari of someone else. The deposed secular mayor Alaa al-Tamimi said he was forced out by 200 armed men.

Keshifa. Two Iraqi soldiers and two civilians were killed by a roadside bomb which struck a joint US-Iraqi military patrol 150 km north of Baghdad.

Baiji. Two oil pipeline security guards were shot dead.

Balad. US troops killed four rebels.

Samara. Moqtada al-Sadr traveled to Samara to mediate violence between protesters and the authorities. After discussions with tribal leaders and city council members, the populace ended its protests.

Sadr City. The decomposing bodies of three people showing signs of torture were recovered.

Baghdad. Speaking of the devil in the Iraqi Parliament. Yezedi MP Kameran Khaïri Saïd, elected from the Kurdish slate, provoked laughter when he took the floor today. Mr. Prime Minister and respected Ministers, what I have to say may seem strange, but I feel insulted when in your floor speeches and communiqués you use the expression, "May God preserve us from the devil." Every time the word "devil" is uttered, people turn around and look at us as if we represent the Devil himself. The esoteric Yezedi religion--founded in the XII century by Sheikh Oudaï ben Massafel al-Amawi, born in Damascus and died in 1160 in Lalish, Kurdistan-- believes that the Devil is the chief of the angels. He is represented by a peacock and the faithful are forbidden to use the word, devil. The Yezedi are represented by three MPs. Al-Jaafari said he did not mean to insult Yezedis but was merely using an everyday Muslim expression.

23:27 Baiji. Guerrillas also at a checkpoint manned by Iraqi army and police near Baiji on Wednesday, killing four soldiers and wounding four people.

22:48 Ramallah. Palestinian security forces prepared to deploy a security cordon around Jewish colonies in the Gaza Strip. 7,500 members of Palestine's security forces, including 5,000 "special forces" have been mobilized for peacekeeping duties during the Israeli evacuation.

21:23 Jerusalem. 100,000 Israelis gathered at the Wailing Wall to protest the Gaza evacuation. Participants included ex-rabbi Avraham Shapira; the spiritual leader of the Israeli ultra-right Mordechai Eliyahu; and the founder of the orthodox Shas Party, Ovadia Yossef.

21:03 London. EU-3 (France, Germany and the UK) submitted a draft resolution to the IAEA demanding that Iran cease its uranium enrichment activities.

21:02 Tehran. Influential Iranian conservatives have announced a $750 million telecommunications contract with Ericsson , Nokia and Siemens.

20:41 New York. Oil hits $65.00 on the Nymex exchange.

20:27 Baiji. Abu Musab al-Zarqawi claimed responsibility for the attack on a US patrol in which four US soldiers were killed and six were wounded.

20:19 Baghdad. Shi'ite leaders have redoubled their consultations on the new Constitution. Moqtada Sadr traveled to the holy city of Najaf, 160 km south of Baghdad, to meet with Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani. He then visited Abdel Aziz Hakim, the head of SCIRI (CSRII), in a rare meeting of rivals.

20:14 Washington. Both the US Army and the Marines met their July recruiting targets.

20:10 Baghdad. Iraqi general kidnapped. Police General Khodor Abbas al-Salihi was kidnapped in broad daylight in downtown Baghdad. Al-Salihi is a member of ex-Premier Iyad Allawi's political party.

19:57 Cairo. An Islamist site distributed a 17-minute video entitled, "Top Ten", showing a series of operations conducted against US forces in Iraq by al-Qaeda as part of a macabre "media jihad". The video is meant for those who like to see the blood of American crusaders flow, according to the distributors. The film includes a rebel attack on US headquarters in al-Qaim, a Bulgarian helicopter downed last April, and the pulverized bodies of seven US soldiers caused by a mine. The images are said to be "atrocious."

19:40 Sharjah. UAE police denied that Islamist preacher Omar Bakri Fostoq, 45, was in the Emirates after transiting through Lebanon. Bakri, considered an extremist, is likely to be expelled from Great Britain where he resides. Bakri carries a Lebanese passport. It is rumored that he is still in Lebanon.

15:49 Jerusalem. Vice Premier Ehud Olmert said the Israeli evacuation of Gaza would be "total and complete", including from the border road, the "Philadelphi corridor". However, Premier Ariel Sharon has stated on several occasions that he intends to reinforce the principal settlement blocs in the West Bank following realization of the "disengagement plan."

15:44 New York. There is no evidence that UN Secretary General Kofi Annan had any direct link to Cotecna Inspection S.A.

14:14 Beirut. The Lebanese Hezbollah channel al-Manar will no longer be carried in Asia or South American by Globecast, a subsidiary of France Télécom, following a protest lodged by the Simon-Wiesenthal Center.

14:49 Baghdad. Iraqi Interior Minister Bayan Baqer Soulagh announced several "minor incidents" on the border with Iran. Meanwhile, Premier Ibrahim Jaafari was evasive on the subject of Iranian-made bombs cited US officials. In a report to Parliament, Soulagh said an Iranian officer and several border guards penetrated 1000 meters into Iraqi territory with their motorcycles. They were arrested and questioned, said Soulaagh. In a second incident, a group of people was stopped inside Iraqi territory in possession of cases of dynamite and fuses. After an exchange of gunfire, they fled when pursued by Iraqi forces. In a press conference, Premier Ibrahim Jaafari said that "if intelligence establishes the veracity of American claims [concerning Iranian-made bombs], appropriate measures will be taken."

14:20 Rotterdam. A Rotterdam courts extended the precautionary detention of a 35 year-old Iraqi man suspected of planning attacks on US forces in Iraq. Local media has identified the man as Kathen al-Naeme.

14:03 Rome. The four bombs abandoned in London on 21 July were not programmed to exploded and did not have a detonator, said suspect Hamdi Issac, held in Rome's Regina Coeli prison.

13:46 Vienna. The IAEA cancelled its scheduled meeting today on the Iranian nuclear crisis and rescheduled it for Thursday.

13:11 Baghdad. Seven people, four civilians and three police, were killed by a roadside bomb which struck a joint US-Iraqi military convoy in the Ghaziliyah quarter of the capital. Fourteen others were wounded, including five US soldiers.

11:40 Kandahar. Taliban militants kidnapped and executed a women accused of spying for the Americans. They also kidnapped her father and brother.

10:32 Lahore. The Pakistani ex-Minister for Culture and Information, Derel Cyprian, a Christian, was found strangled in a Lahore suburb.

08:41 Baiji. Four US soldiers were killed and six wounded in a nighttime bazooka attack by rebels on their convoy. The soldiers then came under small arms fire. A contractor was also wounded. Two US Humvees and a Bradley armored vehicle were destroyed.

08:12 Baghdad. A policeman was killed and seven people were wounded by a mortar round which exploded in a square in the Aadhamiya quarter.

07:03 New York. Thousands of companies among the 4,500 that bought oil and sold goods to Iraq under a U.N. program are being investigated for kickbacks, bribes and illegal surcharges, a key investigator said on Tuesday. Another report is due in October on thousands of the companies that contracted for Iraqi oil or sold food, medicine and other supplies. South African Judge Richard Goldstone, one of three commissioners heading the probe, dismissed U.S. congressional investigations criticizing his panel for not handing over documents. "If anyone ... expected us to open all of our documents before the investigation is complete for public examination, this is just really a ridiculous way to suggest that an investigation such as ours should be conducted," he said.

05:31 London. The Saudi Ambassador to Great Britain, Prince Turki al-Faisal, criticized the British government for ignoring Saudi warnings concerning Muslim extremists, reports The Times.

01:43 New York. George W.Bush named Eric Edelman as Undersecretary of Defense in a recess appointment. Edelman replaces Douglas J. Feith.

00:14 New York. It is unlikely that the UN Security Council will impose sanctions on Tehran over its nuclear activities at Ispahan. China and Russia, who have a veto on the council, will oppose harsh sanctions such as a trade embargo or an interdiction on sales of oil, say diplomatic observers.

00:09 A Canadian of Lebanese origin, Naji Antoine Abi Khalil, pleaded guilty to having given material assistance to a terrorist organization. A US undercover police officer asked Khalil to supply Lebanese Hezbollah with night vision goggles.


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