Monday, March 07, 2005

War News for Monday, March 7, 2005 Bring ‘em on: 7 Iraqi troops and 5 Iraqi police killed and 26 injured in coordinated attacks by insurgents in Baqouba. Bring ‘em on: Jordanian businessman kidnapped in Baghdad. Bring ‘em on: Gunmen kill two policemen and wound a third in a drive-by shooting in the eastern slum of Sadr City. Bring ‘em on: Two civilians killed after insurgents launch roadside bomb attack on joint U.S.-Iraqi military convoy in Baghdad. Bring ‘em on: Fifteen killed and eighteen wounded in car bomb attack on an Iraqi convoy in Balad. Bring ‘em on: 212, the number of attacks that there have been on Iraqi oil infrastructure. Deadly Checkpoints Italy Italian hostage Giuliana Sgrena, shot and wounded after being freed in Iraq, said yesterday US forces may have deliberately targeted her because Washington opposed Italy's policy of dealing with kidnappers. Speaking from the Rome hospital where she is being treated, Ms Sgrena said the troops may have targeted her because Washington opposes Italy's reported readiness to pay ransoms to kidnappers. "The United States doesn't approve of this (ransom) policy and so they try to stop it in any way possible," the veteran war reporter, 57, told Sky Italia TV. In later comments to Reuters, Ms Sgrena was less strident: "You could characterise as an ambush what happens when you are showered with gunfire. If this happened because of a lack of information or deliberately, I don't know, but even if it was due to a lack of information it is unacceptable." Bulgaria Bulgaria’s minister of defense on Monday demanded explanation from the United States after an investigation showed American troops have killed a Bulgarian soldier in Iraq by mistake. Jr. Sgt. Gardi Gardev died of gunshot wounds in the chest last Friday afternoon after a Bulgarian Army patrol was shot at with light automatic weapons in the Iraqi town of Hamzah. A probe disproved the initial version that the soldier died in a rebel ambush, Defense Minister Nikolay Svinarov said. Iraq Blogwatch Raed in the Middle If you, Italians, had one man (killed by the US army) to pay your respect to, Iraqis are having tens of thousands of civilians that are being killed because of the war Italy is supporting. The time has come for the Italian people to demand that their government pull out its troops from Iraq. This will be the right step to take now, to avoid further destruction in the relationship between our people. This doesn't mean that you will be freed of the responsibility you hold for the damage caused by the illegal war on Iraq, but at least you won't be directly responsible for the atrocities that are going to happen in the future. War on Terror The CIA has transferred an estimated 100 and 150 terrorist suspects to foreign countries for questioning - and, it is widely alleged, torture - since rules governing the American policy of "rendition" were relaxed immediately after the September 2001 terrorist attacks. The disclosure, in The New York Times yesterday, throws new light on a practice fiercely criticised by human rights groups, who claim Washington is ignoring the standards it urges on others. Among the countries to which detainees have been sent are Syria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan, all named in the State Department's annual report on human rights worldwide as countries that use torture in their prisons. The practice of rendition long predates the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, but it was previously applied on a specific case-by-case basis, needing approval by several government departments. According to George Tenet, the former CIA director, 72 suspects were moved in this way, some of them from foreign countries into the US from abroad, before 11 September 2001. But since then the traffic has grown much heavier, under a directive approved by President Bush shortly after 11 September, allowing far greater latitude to the CIA. In recent days, several cases, where individuals were quietly sent back to their countries of birth and then held incommunicado and beaten and tortured before being released with no charges being brought, has brought the controversy to a new pitch.


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