12 August 2005 Events in Iraq and in the Region
Ramallah. 14 injured and 28 arrested during a protest against the Security Wall in the village of Bilin. 400 Israelis and foreigners participated in the protest. The wall will eat up Palestinian territory affecting 2/3 of the village.
Ramallah. 10 Islamic Jihad activists arrested by the Israeli Army.
Gaza. Former World Bank President James Wolfensohn made a personal appeal for $13 million and contributed $500,000 himself towards the purchase of Israeli settler greenhouses abandoned on the West Bank. Israeli growers said they would leave the greenhouses equipped and functioning.
Jerusalem. The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem has issued a call to "all faithful Muslims" to assemble on the Esplanade of the Mosques on Sunday to prevent a planned intrusion by extremist Jews to commemorate the 9th of the month of Ab, the anniversary of the destruction of the Temple.
London. Interior Minister Charles Clark must guarantee to Britian's judiciary that Islamic extremists rounded up for deportation by the Home Office will not be tortured in their home countries. The deportation process for the arrested activists is expected to last years, says Ken Best of Immigration Services.
Canberra. Australian police have identifed a masked Islamic militant as a missing Australian solider. A video broadcast by al-Arabiya TV appeared to show soldier 1st class Matthew Stewart holding a gun and menacing Westerners. Stewart served in East Timor. After being discharged, he left for Afghanistan in August 2001 where he went missing.
Nottingham. The 4,000 police of Nottingham in central England will wear green armbands in solidarity with the city's Muslims.
Islamabad. The son-in-law of Abdul Qadeer Khan, father of the Pakistanti bomb, was arrested for beating up two British diplomats.
Samarra. A civilian was killed and two others wounded when a roadside bomb exploded near their car.
Ramadi. Two truck drivers were missing after gunmen ambushed their vehicles, which were carrying supplies to a U.S. base. The nationalities of the drivers were unknown.
Mosul. Gunmen killed at least three civilians and wounded two others in an attack on a fuel tanker in Mosul. The assailants also shot at an ambulance as it arrived to treat the wounded.
Mosul. Iraqi troops killed three insurgents who were trying to break into a polling station to be used for the October constitution referendum. One of the insurgents was wearing a belt loaded with explosives.
Baghdad. A car bomb exploded near a police patrol in the southern part of the capital, injuring four people.
Kirkuk. A pair of roadside bombings that targeted a police patrol south of Kirkuk killed one officer and a taxi driver. Five others, including three policemen, where also injured.
Baghdad. Followers of radical Iraqi Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr say they have rescued four hostages from their kidnappers in the Shaab district of Baghdad hours before they were to be killed. Members of Mr Sadr's Mehdi Army freed the four Arab hostages from "terrorist groups" holding them in Baghdad, said an aide of Mr. Sadr, Sheikh Abdel Zahra Suwaidi. The freed men identified themselves to an Associated Press photographer as Syrian Hisham Salem, Lebanese Mustafa Abdul-Rassoul Hussein, dual Syrian-Lebanese citizen Atta Ibrahim and Iraqi Kurd Haji Alawi.
22:53 Baghdad. Angered by Shiite calls for a federal region in central and southern Iraq, Sunni clerics urged followers Friday to register and vote against the constitution if it contains measures which clerics said would divide the country. With only three days to go before the deadline for parliament to approve the constitution, Shiites and Kurds reached agreements Friday on some points such as the name of the country, Islam as the state religion and the ethnically-mixed city of Kirkuk. But Sunni Arab politician Saleh al-Mutlaq was very pessimistic about reaching an agreement by the Monday deadline, saying "matters are very complicated and need divine intervention." Othman said Shiites and Kurds have agreed that the country be called the Iraqi Federal Republic and that Islam be the religion of the state. The status of Kirkuk will be decided before December 15. The Sunni Arabs appear to be sending a warning that they can bring down the constitution in the Oct. 15 referendum. According to the country's interim charter, if two thirds of the people in three provinces vote against the constitution it will be considered void. Sunni are the majority in the provinces of Anbar, Salahuddin, Ninevah and Diyala. Al-Izzi, of the Kmeira Mosque, said "don't sit at home because by staying at home it means you are accepting. We will say no to anything that contradicts with our religion and we will say no to anything that leads to splitting the country." He said Israel is the country that wants Iraq to be divided.
23:46 Washington. Several demonstrations are planned in New York, Washington, Miami, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco on Saturday at midnight, including prayer vigil in front of the Israeli consulate, to protest the Gaza evacuation. The demonstrations have been called by an umbrella group, the Alliance for Eretz Israel.
21:55 Crawford. President George W. Bush ignored protesters opposed to the war in Iraq assembled near his ranch for over a week as his motorcade passed "Camp Casey" twice. Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a US soldier killed in Iraq, has become the symbol of the protest. Last Sunday, National Security Advisor Steve Hadley and the Deputy White House Secretary Joe Hagin flew to Texas to meet with Cindy Sheehan to ask her to reconsider and leave. Sheehan refuses to do so without speaking directly to President Bush.
21:51 Ramadi. A blast Friday near a mosque west of Baghdad killed four people, three of them children, and injured at least 19 others. The blast occurred near the town of Nasaf near Ramadi, an insurgent center 110 kilometers. Hospital officials said the deaths and injuries occurred when a U.S. armored vehicle fired near the Ibn al-Jawzi mosque, about 25 km east of Ramadi, after worshippers had left the building following Friday prayers. Sufiyan al-Dulaimi, a 32-year-old resident of Nasaf, said he was stepping out of the mosque when he heard an explosion, then saw a U.S. armored vehicle about 1 km away fire and hit a wall of the mosque. The US military has denied the incident.
21:41 Baghdad. A US firm based in Ecuador has announced that it has hired 1,000 Colombian ex-military and police as mercenaries in Iraq at one-half the cost of US mercenaries. Columbians have been fighting terrorists for 41 years and they are experts in certain domains such as bomb disposal and anti-guerrilla operations. The company, Epi Security and Investigation (www.iraqijobcenter.com), operates from Manta, 260 km southwest of Quito and is owned by Jeffrey Shippy, a US citizen. Epi Security's headquarters is not far from a base leased by the United States to station its aircraft and troops deployed from Panama.[ Isn't there enough murder, torture, extortion and bombing in Baghdad without this??--Nur].
21:07 Kings Bay. The 2003 invasion of Iraq was a mistake that has boosted the ranks and morale of extremist Islamic groups and made them a greater threat to U.S. interests, former President Jimmy Carter said on Friday. We have not lessened the strength of terrorists around the world and have not lessened but have increased both the number and the fervor and the organizational capabilities of terrorists, Carter said in a news conference at this U.S. naval base in southeastern Georgia.
20:30 Gaza. Mahmoud Abbas joined thousands of Palestinians on Friday assembled on the beaches of the Gaza Strip to celebrate the upcoming Israeli evacuation. "From this spot out people initiates its march towards the creation of an independent state with Jersusalem as its capital, said Abbas. Thousands of Palestinians waved flags, sang and danced ahead of the Israeli pullout. Many wore T-shirts with the portraits of Abbas and Yassir Arafat. Offshore, Palestinian fishing boats unfurled the Palestinian colors: black, white, red and green.
19:47 Jerusalem. President George W. Bush said in an interview with Israeli TV that he does not rule out the use of force against Iran for its nuclear activities.
19:02 Gaza. Israel reiterates that evacuation from Gaza will be "complete." However, Palestinians will not be allowed in the area until after Yom Kippur in October.
18:58 Baghdad. Three days before the deadline for drafting the Constitution, Iraqi leaders are striving to find a consensus on dozens of issues.
18:54 New York. Syrian President Bashir Assad will attend a UN-sponsored summit in October in New York City.
18:14 Sharm al-Sheikh. Two police were wounded in a cave near Ismaïla in clash with suspected bombers.
17:35 New York. The top U.S. military adviser to President George W. Bush warned a federal judge that the release of photographs and videotapes of the abuse of detainees at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq would give insurgents propaganda to step up their fight. Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, said in court papers filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan that the release of the pictures pose a clear and grave risk of inciting violence and riots against American troops and coalition forces. The arguments were submitted July 21 in a case in which the American Civil Liberties Union seeks the release of 87 photographs and four videotapes taken at the prison.
17:05 Tehran. The West cannot push Iran around as it did Libya and Iraq, a former Iranian president said in a sermon during prayers Friday at Tehran University. Hashemi Rafsanjani also criticized the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency for urging Iran to suspend its conversion of uranium into gas. Our people are not going to allow their nuclear rights to be seized, Rafsanjani said. The International Atomic Energy Agency expressed «serious concern» Thursday over Iran's decision to resume uranium conversion, a step before the enrichment of uranium _ which can be used to generate electricity to make nuclear weapon. In a resolution, the agency urged Iran to suspend conversion to reassure the United States and others that it was not concealing a weapons program. But the U.N. body stopped short of referring Iran to the U.N. Security Council, indicating it wanted to leave time for further negotiations to defuse the standoff. Rafsanjani msaid in the sermon to a crowd of thousands and broadcast on state television. These people think they have defeated Iran, but they should know that Iran is not a place where they can do what they did with Libya and Iraq, Rafsanjani said of Western efforts to block Tehran's nuclear ambitions.
19:02 Baghdad. Attacks on US military convoys have doubled in the last 12 months, says US Brigadier General Yves J. Fontaine, commander of the 1st Corps Support Command. Every day there are approximately 150 convoys from Turkey, Jordan and Kuwait delivering equipment, fuel, food and water to US military installations across the country.
11:26 London. Bakri banished from the UK. Fundamentalist imam Omar Bakri, arrested yesterday in Lebanon will not be permitted to return to the UK. Bakri has lived in London for 19 years.
11:04 Samarra. A shootout in Samarra between US troops and insurgents has killed three civilians and one Iraqi solider.
17:22 Rome. Enrico Deaglio, the CEO of the Italian newspaper Il Diario says slain journalist Enzo Baldoni deserves the Civilian Medal of Valor and has started a petition.
09:27 Kirkuk. US Apache helicopter downed near Kirkuk. At least two are wounded.
08:30 New York. Oil hits $66.11 per barrel.
06:28 Tikrit. US soldier killed.
03:00 New York. Former President Bill Clinton said that Americans should forget their differences on the Iraq War and work towards genuine democracy in Iraq. [Bill is delusional; guess Poppy Bush is the daddy he never had--Nur]
03:01 Gaza. Hamas militants said on Friday they would not disarm despite Israel's planned Gaza pullout so they could carry on pressing the Jewish state to withdraw from more occupied land. A Hamas leader, Abu Ubaida, holding a M-16 assault rifle, said: This is a message to the Israeli enemy that resistance will continue and that the removal of the occupation was a result of this resistance that will continue. We will maintain and preserve the arms of resistance and we will increase our force and arms to liberate all of the Palestinian land. Palestine is not only Gaza. About 1,000 Hamas militants staged an exercise on Friday, simulating the storming of Jewish settlements and attacks on Israeli troops.
02:39 Najaf. A leading Shiite lawmaker called for a Shiite federal region, alarming Sunni Arabs who fear they will lose out on oil revenues and complicating efforts to meet a deadline for drafting a constitution within four days. During a speech Thursday to cheering crowds in Najaf, Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim endorsed calls for a federated Iraq. Al-Hakim's maneuvering could also complicate U.S. efforts to produce a constitution that will win the backing of Sunni Arabs in the Oct. 15 referendum and draw them away from the insurgency. The comments from al-Hakim, leader of the country's biggest Shiite party, drew a sharp response from Sunni Arab politicians.