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A blog on the current crises in the Middle East and news accounts unpublished by the US press.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, November 30, 2005

30 November Events in Iraq and in the Region

Abu Garmah. Three farm workers were killed and two were wounded when masked gunmen opened fire at a mini bus in the small town of Abu Garmah near Baquba, 65 km (40 miles) northeast of Baghdad.

Baghdad. Two security guards were wounded when snipers fired at the office of Salama al-Khafaji, a member of the National Assembly, in western Baghdad. She was not in the office at the time of the attack.

Manzilah. An Iraqi army officer and two soldiers were seriously wounded when a makeshift bomb went off near their patrol in Manzilah village southwest of Kirkuk, 250 km north of Baghdad.

Sanaa (Yemen). At least 10 rebels were killed today and anther six the day before. More than 500 soldiers and police, supported by armored vehicles, have closed off Sadah Governate and have prevented reporters from going there. Clashes had taken place between security forces and supporters of Shi'ite leader Bader Eddine al-Houthi.

Baghdad. General Martin Dempsey accused Iraqi Security officers of torturing prisoners.

Baghdad. The US Army has been secretly delivering payola to Iraqi newspapers to publish articles written by the US military to better the image of the United States.

Jerusalem. An plea bargain was made in the case of Tali Fahima, 29, accused of having contacts with a "foreign agent", Zakaria al-Zoubeidi, of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade. Fahima will serve less than one year in prison

Baghdad. Four Iranians kidnapped north of the capital were later released and have taken refuge in the Iranian consulate in Karbala. Witnesses say uniformed Iraqi police were among their kidnappers.

Cairo. One hundred supporters of Hamdin Sabahy, an Arab nationalist and leftist MP from the Nile delta, were arrested. Police took their identity documents to prevent them from voting.

23:54 Baghdad. Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns suggested Wednesday that European and other nations might apply curbs on trade and investment in Iran should the next round of negotiations fail to halt Iran's drive for nuclear weapons.

23:53 Dubai. Bahrainis protesting against unemployment clashed with police in the capital Manama late on Wednesday. Protesters threw stones and molotov cocktails, setting fire to two police cars, after officers moved in to disperse them.

23:54 Vienna. U.N. investigators will start questioning five Syrian officials on Monday at UN headquarters in Vienna about the assassination of Lebanon's former prime minister.

22:28 Washington House Democratic Party Whip Nancy Pelosi has supported John Murtha's call for an immediate US miltiary pullout from Iraq.

21:28 Berlin. Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke on the subject of hostage Susanne Osthoff. "We shall not be blackmailed", said Merkel after a death threat from Osthoff's captors.

16:42 Ramallah. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah party scrambled on Wednesday to salvage a primary election rocked by turmoil that has widened internal rifts ahead of a political battle with its Hamas rival. A day after Abbas suspended voting in response to violence and fraud, Fatah's Central Committee decided to name a 24-member review board, chaired by the president, to finalise a list of the party's candidates for a parliamentary election on Jan. 25.

16:36 Ramallah. Three top leaders of Hamas are among the Islamic militant group's candidates for parliament. Hamas has said it would only reveal its list of candidates at the last moment --the deadline is mid-December-- for fear candidates would be targeted by Israel. However, Hamas said Wednesday that among the top candidates in Jan. 25 parliament elections are Mahmoud Zahar, Ismail Hanieh and Hassan Yousef. Rasha Rantisi, the widow of Abdel Aziz Rantisi, a Hamas leader killed by Israel two years ago, is also on Hamas' list, along with other women candidates.

16:32 Karachi. Hispano-Syrian Mustafa Setmariam Nasar, alias Abou Moussab al-Souri, a suspected member of al-Qaeda, was arrested in Pakistan three months ago.

16:28 Washington. President George W. Bush, facing growing doubts about his war strategy, said Wednesday that Iraqi troops are increasingly taking the lead in battle but that «this will take time and patience.» In a speech defending his policy, the president said, "We will stay as long as necessary to complete the mission. If our military leaders there tell us we need more troops, I will send them."

16:26 Cairo. Nearly 600 Muslim Brotherhood militants were arrested over the last few days. So far, MB has won 76 our of 444 seats in the national legislature. Most arrests were carried out in the Province of Dakahlia.

16:24 Washington. President George W. Bush said in a speech today that Iraq ha become the "main front in the War on Terror".

16:23 Ramallah. The Fatah Central Committee has decided to continue the primaries to select candidates for the general elections in January.

16:10 Baghdad. Sunni Arab leaders in Iraq voiced anger on Wednesday over a Norwegian company's oil deal struck exclusively with Kurds in the north and warned such projects could deepen sectarian divisions. Small Norwegian oil firm DNO on Tuesday became the first foreign company to drill for oil in postwar Iraq through an agreement negotiated with Iraqi Kurdistan.

16:09 Washington. Bush administration makes public document on US aims in Iraq entitled, National Strategy for Victory in Iraq.

14:10 Brussels. Belgian authorities in the regions of Brussels and Antwerp arrested 14 persons said to be linked to a Belgian woman,Muriel Degauque, who carried out a suicide attack three weeks ago in Baquba.

13:22 Berlin. Kidnappers in Iraq have threatened to kill a German woman and her driver unless Berlin stops all cooperation with the U.S.-backed Iraqi government.

13:00 Washington. Partial troop pullout from Iraq may take place in 2006.

07:29 Riyadh. Two women have won an unprecented victory in Saudi Arabia, where they have been elected to the Board of Directors of the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce. Lama al-Souleiman and Nashwa Taher, 44, won with 3,880 votes with only 100 from other women.

07:03 Baquba. Eight persons are dead after ten gunmen opened fire on their minibus.

06:13 \Tokyo. Japan will keep its contingent in Iraq until May 2006.


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