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A blog on the current crises in the Middle East and news accounts unpublished by the US press.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

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

29 November Events in Iraq and in the Region

Ramallah. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has decided to cancel the ongoing primary elections in a part of the territories. Today's elections in East Jerusalem were cancelled. Meanwhile, Hamas won over Fatah in student elections at al-Najah University in Nablus.

Jerusalem. Israel to test new crossing. Israel will test the ultramodern Kalkilya crossing through the Security Wall between the West Bank and Israel.

Rafah. Israeli PM Ariel Sharon travelled to the border with Egypt to study the problem of "contraband from Egypt".

Jerusalem. Labour MP Dalia Yitzhik has joined Ariel Sharon's new political party. Meanwhile Shimon Peres announced that he would also leave the Labour party to join Mr. Sharon.

London. PM Tony Blair denies knowledge of a US plan to bomb al-Jazeera.

Baghdad. The legal team for Saddam Hussein to demand more protection. In October, Saadoun Janabi, attorney Awad Ahmed al-Bandar, was kidnapped and executed. In November, Adel Mohammed Abbas, attorney for Taha Yassin Ramadan, was shot dead by armed gunmen, who also wounded Tamer Hammoud Hadi, attorney for Barzan al-Tikriti, half-brother of Saddam Hussein.

Baghdad. A German woman, Suzanne Osthoff, 43, and her chauffeur were kidnapped. Osthoff is an archaeologist who has resided in Iraq for the last 10 years and had related to the German newspaper Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung (NOZ) that she had be threatened with abduction. She has an 11 year-old daughter.

Ramallah. Twenty Palestinians, including Abdelrahim Mallouh, a leader of Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), imprisoned at the Ofer Israeli military base on the West Bank, were injured in a riot provoked last night by the transfer of four PFLP prisoners to another prison. In the aftermath of the incident, 1,100 Palestinian prisoners went on a hunger strike in solidarity.

Rafah. The Palestinian Minister for Civilian Affairs, Mohammed Dahlan, says only the Palestinian Authority may refuse passage of travellers through the Rafah terminal.

Cairo. The Egyptian government announced it will refuse to legalize the Muslim Brotherhood. Osama el-Baz, advisor to Hosni Mubarak, said that no political party with a religious affiliation will be permitted. Meanwhile another 20 Muslim Brotherhood members were arrested.

Cairo. Egyptian lawyers demonstrate againt voting booth fraud in support of Egyptian magistrates

23:58 Ottawa. Canada will do everything possible to obtain the release of its nationals kindapped in Iraq.

23:52 Toronto. The NGO Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) beleives the kindapping of its four employees --American Tom Fox, 54, Briton Norman Kember, 74 , and two Candians, James Loney, 41 and Harmeet Singh Sooden, 32-- was due to "illegal acts on committed by the United States and Britain".

23:50 Fallujah. A Sunni cleric was assassinated Tuesday by unknown gunmen in front of his mosque in Fallujah. Sheikh Hamza Abbas al-Issawi, the head of the Association of Muslim Scholars in the city, was leaving the al-Wahda mosque after evening prayers when several cars drew up and men inside opened fire on the sheikh.

23:49 Doha. Al-Jazeera broadcast video Tuesday of four Western peace activists held hostage by a previously unknown group, part of a new wave of kidnappings police fear is aimed at disrupting next month's elections. The news station said the four were seized by the Swords of Righteousness Brigade, which claimed they were spies working under the cover of Christian peace activists. The brief, blurry tape was shown the same day German TV displayed a photo of a blindfolded German archaeologist being led away by armed captors in Iraq. The kidnappers threatened to kill Susanne Osthoff and her Iraqi driver unless Germany halts all contacts with the Iraqi government.

23:46 Washington. The U.S. Army has launched an unprecedented effort to coax former troops to sign up again for active-duty military service. The Army this month began contacting 78,000 people who previously served in the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps to pitch them on the idea of leaving behind their civilian lives and returning for another stint in uniform. Bonuses ranging from $5,000 to $19,000 are being offered and the Army also dropped a rule that had blocked former soldiers from getting training in a different career field than they previously had worked.

23:28 Washington. US Secretary of Defense insisted that progress was being made in the transfer of control of Iraq to Iraqi security forces.

23:07 Washington. General Peter Pace declares the use of white phosphorus as an incendiary munition "legitimate."

21:48 Rawa. Nine presumed terrorists arrested.

20:30 Balad. The six Iranian pilgrims kidnapped this morning have been released.

23:21 Ramallah. The Palestinian minister in charge of relations with Israel, Saëb Erakat, has requested aid from Washington to ensure the success of the Palestinian legislative elections.

18:26 Baghdad. General John Abizaid says there has been no concrete decision to withdraw coalition troops. Earlier in the day, Iraqi Security Minister Mowaffaq al-Rubaie has announced the pullout of 30,000 US troops in 2006.

17:08 Baghdad. Six mortar rounds directed at Camp Falcon south of the capital. US forces then closed down a major highway between Baghdad and the south of the country.

16:46 Mosul. Two Assyrian Christians were shot dead as they hung election posters. Two others were wounded.

16:13 Baghdad. One of the British pilgrims wounded yesterday when gunfire struck a coach carrying pilgrims to Najaf and Karbala has died. He was 69 and lived in London. Two other Britons were also wounded. The pilgrims were of Indian origin and entered Iraq from India via Tehran.

16:05 Tarmiyah. Suicide carbomb kills 8 Iraqi soldiers.

15:01 Baghdad. Roadside bomb kills two US soldiers north of the capital.

14:37 Bethlehem. A gunfight broke out between Palestinian security forces and Israeli soldiers out-of-uniform. A Palestinian policemen was wounded in the leg by the Israelis.

13:47 Balad. Two Iranian pilgrims kidnapped yesterday were released.

09:32 Balad. Six Iranian pilgrims, including three women, and their guide were kidnapped on their way to Najaf and Kerbala.


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