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A blog on the current crises in the Middle East and news accounts unpublished by the US press.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

Monday, January 16, 2006

16 January 2006 Events in Iraq and in the Region

Jerusalem. The government of Ehud Olmert evacuated illegal settlers in the town of Hebron on the West Bank. The Israeli Army has declared the area around a wholesale produce market in Hebron where setters are squatting in Palestinian homes to be a "closed military zone". The army also issued a proclamation saying any setter found masked or throwing stones would be immediately arrested. Meanwhile, Defense Minister Mofaz ordered an estimation of the damage caused to Palestinians by vandalism on the part of Israeli settlers.

Baghdad. The Elections Commission threw out 227 ballot boxes, less than 1% of the total, said the commission's Chairman Abdel Hussein al-Hindaw in a press conference. Sunni parties and the list headed by secular Shi'ite Iyad Allawi are contesting the results. 1,985 complaints have been filed with the Commission.

Baghdad. The International Mission for the Iraqi Elections, composed of foreign experts, will publish its report on the conduct of balloting on Thursday.

Baghdad. An American MP was killed by a IED targeting his convoy in downtown Baghdad.

Baghdad. Three civilians and two police were shot dead in separate attacks.

Moqdadiyah. Six police and a 12 year-old child were killed and 17 persons wounded in a carbombing targeting Iraqi police.

New York. The New York Times reports that US Command will assign more than 2,000 advisors to train Iraqi police. The program will begin in Baghdad and will then be extended to local police stations in 18 provinces throughout the country. 80,000 police officers have already been trained and equipped. A goal has been set to train 135,000 men by the end of the year.

Baghdad. The First Criminal Chamber of the High Penal Tribunal announced that new judge will replace Rizkar Mohammed Amin in presiding over the trial of Saddam Hussein and his collaborators when proceedings resume on 24 January. Logically, the replacement should be Judge Saïd al-Hamashi, who sat to the right of Judge Amin. Sources say that Judge Amin was replaced due to his inability to handle the combative attitude of Saddam Hussein.

Baghdad. US helicopter shot down north of Baghdad. Witnesses say they saw a rocket hit the aircraft, which then crashed. The helicopter went down near the town of Mishahda, 30 km north of Baghdad, and was immediately surrounded by US troops. A pilot and a co-pilot were aboard. Responsibility was claimed by the Salaheddin al-Ayubi Brigades. This was the third helicopter crash with the space of 10 days. A Kiowa was shot down near Mosul on 13 January; responsibility was claimed by Al-Qaeda for Jihad of the Land of the Two Rivers. Six days before that, eight US soldiers and four civilians perished in the crash of a Blackhawk west of Mosul. The US military blamed bad weather for the crash.

23:18 Basrah. Iranian coast guards killed an Iraqi solider and kidnapped nine others after a clash with the Iraqi counterparts. The encounter took place after a ship was spotted by the Iraqis carring contraband oil. When the captain was hailed, he summoned the Iranian forces. An Iranian patrol boat opened fire on the Iraqi craft. Al Jazeera reports that the Iranians are holding 2 Iraqi boats in the port of Abadan.


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