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A blog on the current crises in the Middle East and news accounts unpublished by the US press.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

Thursday, February 02, 2006

2 February 2006 Events in Iraq and in the Region

Jerusalem. The Israeli army has withdrawn its defense of the Jewish colony in Yitzar, near Nablus, on the West Bank following attacks on troops by the colonists themselves.

Beirut. Bomb explodes outside the Emir Bachir Lebanese Army barracks in Ramlet el-Baïda, slightly wounding one soldier.

Dubai. Danish products were pulled from the shelves of French-owned Carrefour supermarket in Dubai and from all its stores in the region.

Kuwait. The Kuwaiti Danish Dairy Company printed and distributed large posters saying that its butter was imported from New Zealand, processed in Kuwait and packaged in Jeddah to prevent consumer confusion with Danish butter.

Washington. [Off-topic but newsworthy] US Secretary Donald Rumsfeld compared Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to Adolf Hitler.

Washington. U.S. officials did not apologize Wednesday for a "regrettable" incident in which US soldiers fired at a car carrying four Canadian diplomats in Baghdad. Canadians are disputing a U.S. version of events, saying a military convoy fired at them without warning, with one bullet coming dangerously close. The event took place Tuesday, involving two convoys in the city's heavily fortified Green Zone. The vehicle was reported outfitted with Canadian flags.

Najaf. Angry Shi'ites protested the Danish tabliod Jyllands-Posten for its affont to Islam. Protesters burnt the Danish flag before the tomb of Imam Ali.

Tunis. Distribution of the French tabloid, France Soir, prohibited after the paper published an anti-Muslim political cartoon.

Rabat. Authorities ban distribution of the French tabloid, France Soir, after publication of a politicial cartoon offensive to Muslims.

Paris. The Grand Rabbi of France, Joseph Sitruk, announced that he shared Muslim outrage at the publication of political cartoons offensive to the Prophet Muhammad in several European tabloids.

Beirut. Lebanese authorities prepared a complaint to the UN following the slaying of a Lebanese shepherd in southern Lebanon. UN Special Representative Geir Pedersen has been summoned by Prime Minister Fuad Siniora.

Baghdad. 14 bodies showing signs of torture discovered by police.

Baghdad. The US military announced that four US soldiers killed in attacks by insurgents on Wednesday. Three of the soldiers were killed when a roadside bomb exploded near their patrol south of Baghdad, while another was shot dead in the southwest of the capital.

Fallujah. US marine dies of wounds he sustained in armed clashes in the central Iraqi city of Fallujah.

Sadr City. The father of Ikhlas Abd al-Hussein said his 20-year-old daughter had been killed when a US combat helicopter fired a missile at her house, blasting a hole through the roof. Abd al-Hussein Shanuf said another woman and a two-year-old child had also been injured. The US military insisted it had been hunting a Sunni Islamist militant [in Sadr City?? Yeah, right!--Nur] but many residents believed the real target had been members of the al-Mahdi Army, the militia of the Sadr City-based radical Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr. Iraqi Transport Minister Salam al-Maliki, a representative of Mr Sadr, condemned the attack and demanded compensation for the victims.

Basrah. A police intelligence officer responsible for an area south of Basra was wounded and his driver killed in an assassination attempt.

Kirkuk. Insurgents attacked at pumping station 45km (30 miles) west of the northern city of Kirkuk, triggering a massive fire. Deliveries of oil to Ceyhan, in Turkey, had already been halted after the sabotage of two oil pipelines last week.

23:28 Beirut. Five Shi'ite Muslim ministers on Thursday ended a boycott that has paralyzed Lebanon and rejoined government after the prime minister deemed Hizbollah guerrillas to be national resistance fighters -- a term that would allow them to retain arms. The Shi'ite ministers include Energy Minister Mohammad Fneish, a Hizbollah member and its ally Labour Minister Trad Hamadeh. Foreign Minister Fawzi Salloukh and two ministers from Amal were also involved in the boycott.

22:42 Washington. Former Coalition Provisional Authority administrator Robert Stein, former financial controller for South-Central Iraq, pleaded guilty of charges of money laundering and other crimes. Stein and another accomplice awarded more than $8 million in contracts to an American front company in Hillah. Stein and co-conspirators stole more than $1 million in cars, cash and jewels and another $2 million in cash which they smuggled into the United States aboard commercial airliners. Stein also received gifts and sexual favours lavished on him at a special villa in Baghdad.

21:26: Baghdad. Police sources said bombs went off at a petrol station and a market in the al-Amin district of the capital. At least n16 were killed and 65 wounded. One car blew up at a service station and another in an outdoor market.

18:43 Doha. The emirate of Qatar called upon the international community to respect the rights of the Palestinian people.

16:46 Gaza. Islamist groups angrily denounce European political cartoons disrespectful to the Prophet Muhammad. Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades warns that any Norwegian, Dane or Frenchman present on their territory could be a target of reprisal. Armed supporters of Fatah and Islamic Jihad blocked the entrance to the offices of the EU in Gaza in protest. The 30 September publication in the Danish tabloid Jyllands-Posten printed 12 caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad which has stoked anger across the Muslim world.

08:48 Baghdad. Industry Ministry official kidnapped by armed men. Mrs. Mary Hamza al-Roubaï, Director General, was kidnapped in the Yarmouk quarter of west Baghdad. Her car was surrounded by armed men as she left for work. Her chauffeur was later released.

08:23 Beirut. A Lebanese adolescent was shot dead by Israeli troops near the Lebanese-Israeli border. The body of Ibrahim Youssef Rahil, a 15 year-old shepherd was found near Bastara. Hezbollah has promised reprisals. This is the most serious incident to have occurred since November, when Hezbollah and Israeli troops fought, killing four Shi'ites and wounding 11 Israeli soldiers.

08:00 Baghdad. Encounter between US forces and Shi'ite supporters of Moqtada Sadr kills one woman and wounds five other civilians as Iraq's Shi'ite community celebrated Ashura. A firefight broke out at 02:00 am and lasted until 04:00 am. Noise from explosions was echoed across the capital.

03:49 Washington. A bipartisan group of House of Representatives members introduced legislation on Thursday to halt U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority because the militant group Hamas, dedicated to destroying Israel, was expected to form a new Palestinian government. Sponsors are Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Florida Republican and California Democratic Rep. [The representatives from Israel--Nur]


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