19 January 2006 Events in Iraq and in the Region
Jerusalem. The Israeli governement says it will dismantle illegal colonies on the West Bank after the Palestinian elections. More than 1,000 soldiers and police will be mobilized to evacuate Jewish squatters installed in Palestinian shops in Hebron.
Jerusalem. Israel arrests 19 Palestinians.
Ramallah. Saëb Erakat has called upon the international comunity to pressure Israel into permitting Fatah leader Marwan Barghouthi to campaign for office from inside his prison cell. Erekat also requested that Ahmed Saadat, the head of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, be permitted to campaign form his prison cell in Jerico where he is under international surveillance.
Cairo. Following a meeting with Hosni Mubarak, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier say he belives that Hamas must renounce violence in order to participate in the Palestinian government.
Brussels. The European Commission has called upon Israel to permit free circulation during the Palestinian elections scheduled for 25 January.
Jerusalem. Responsibiity for running the Erez crossing between the Gaza Strip and Israel was handed to a private firm.
Cairo. 14 Egyptians, including two police, were injured in riots between Copts and Muslims in southern Egypt. The clashes took place in the village al-Odayssat, near Luxor, 700 south of Cairo. Muslims attempted to burn down a Copt home being used without a permit as a church.
Cairo. 450 members of the Muslim Brotherhood have been released from jail.
Baghdad. Iraqi forces have launched a vast security operation. A high number of checkpoints have been established outside Baghdad and other major Iraqi citites.
Baghdad. The kidnappers of Christian Science Monitor reporter Jill Carrol have identified themselves as the Vengence Brigades, a previously unknown group. The United States has denied reports that six female Iraqi prisoners would be released in exchange for Carrol.
Baghdad. Judge Saïd al-Hamashi has been reinstated as presiding judge for the trial of Saddam Hussein because there is no proof of his membership in the Ba'ath Party. Al-Hamashi, a Shi'a, was born in 1952 in Baghdad and practiced as a lawyer under the regime of Saddam Hussein.
Islamabad. Pakistani authorities attempt to identify the remains of three alleged al-Qaeda militants killed in last Friday's US raid in the northwest of the country. One militant was identified as Midhat Mursi, aka Abu Khabab al-Masri, 52, an explosive experts with a bounty of $5 million on his head. The others are thought to be Abu Obaidah al-Masri, chief of al-Qaeda operations for Kunar Province and Abdul Rahman al-Maghribi, a Moroccan thought to be the al-Qaeda No. 2. [We'll understand next week if there is any truth to this].
20:17 Washington. CIA says bin Laden message authentic.
18:56 Dubai. Al Arabiya reports that Sunni rebels have executed one of nine Iranian border guards kidnapped last month.
16:21 Doha. Osama bin Laden proposes conditional truce with the USA.
16:11 Doha. Osama bin Laden promises new attacks against the USA.
16:01 Doha. Al Jazeera prepares to air message from Osama bin Laden.
15:42 Tel Aviv. Islamic Jihad claims credit for today's suicide bombing at a bus station in the Neveh Sha'anan quarter. :
15:27 Baghdad. The International Mission for the Iraqi Elections reports fraud in its assessment of the 15 december elections.
14:22 Baghdad. Death toll rises to 23 in Baghdad bombings.
13:32 Baghdad. 15 dead in simultaneous bombings. At least 15 are dead and 25 wounded following attacks. A carbomb struck a police vehicle near a restaurant in the Battawin quarter not far from commercial Saadoon Street killing 3 police. In the second attack a suicide bomber blew himself up inside a cafe.
11:33 Basrah. Iranian authorites to release 9 Iraqi coast guards held prisoner after a clash in territorial waters.
11:26 Doha. Al Jazeera broadcasts new video showing kidnapped US reporter Jill Carroll.
08:26 Samarra. A search has begun for 35 Iraqis kidnapped on Monday north of Baghdad. They were members of a group of 229 candidates for the Baghdad Police Academy who had failed the admissions exam. They were attacked by armed men 50 km north of Baghdad.
04:41 Washington. A delegation of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Iraq is on its way to Iraq to plead for the release of reporter Jill Carroll.
00:18 Basrah. Two American civilians die near Basrah. Both killed by a roadside bomb which struck the vehicle in which they were travelling. A third person was injured. The pair worked for an international organization training Iraq police.
00:07 Nassiriya: Operation "Old Babylon" will gradually end its mandate over 2006 and conclude by the end of the year, say Italian Defense Minister Antonio Martino.