Monday, July 03, 2006

DAILY WAR NEWS FOR MONDAY, JULY 3, 2006 Cared for by his mother, Amir Ahmed, 10, suffers serious burns from a roadside bomb attack on a popular produce market, Monday, July 3, 2006, at the Yarmouk Hospital in Baghdad, Iraq. Ahmed was injured in a road side bomb that exploded in a popular market in Mahmoudiya, just south of Baghdad, killing three civilians and injuring 21 others. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed) Bring 'em On. Marine dies due to enemy action in Anbar. Bring 'em On. Soldier killed by explosion during combat patrol north of Baghdad. SECURITY INCIDENTS Car bomb apparently targeting police patrol in Mosul kills 5, injures 28, mostly civilians. Gunmen in Najaf kill two women and a teenage girl in an alleged brothel in Najaf. U.S. troops round up, hold for up to 2 days, and question 450 men in Bishkan, a village north of Baghdad. U.S. military spokesman Major Will Willhoite said they were looking for foreign fighters. Mayor says they arrested all the men in the town, including teenage boys. Mortar attack kills four, injures 14 in the market of Mahmoudiya town, south of Baghdad. Note: This is the town where U.S. troops allegedly commited a rape-murder. See below. KUNA also has: Iraqi police and U.S. forces killed one insurgent and detained 15 others after being attacked on Saturday night in central Baghdad, the U.S. military said. Reuters also has: NEWS AND IN-DEPTH REPORTING Previously unknown Shiite group claims attacks on U.S. forces
BEIRUT, July 2 (Reuters) - A previously unknown Shi'ite Muslim group said it was behind "recent attacks" against U.S.-led forces in Iraq but vowed not to target Iraqis, according to a videotape aired on Lebanese television on Sunday. The militant group, calling itself the Muslim Resistance in Iraq, said in a statement accompanying the video that its attacks aimed "to free Iraq from foreign occupation". It said the United States, Britain, and their allies "have occupied our land, looted our wealth and shed our blood". Privately owned New TV did not say how it obtained the video, which shows attacks against U.S. troops, with a song praising the Shi'ites' courage in the background. One scene shows wounded soldiers lying on the ground after a a bomb attack against their tank. Another shows the group aborting an attack to avoid casualties among Iraqi civilians. The tape's authenticity could not be immediately verified. "We stress that any operation targeting civilians is a grave sin and a crime," said the statement, dated June 20. "Members of the Iraqi army, police and security forces are our sons, brothers and loved ones ... and government employees are our brothers and loved ones too."
Read in Full Sunni front continues boycott of parliament. Iraq Government's "Most Wanted" list is long on Baathists, short on Jihadists
By Bushra Juhi, Associated Press | July 3, 2006 BAGHDAD -- Saddam Hussein's wife and eldest daughter are among 41 people on the Iraqi government's most wanted list, along with the new leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq, a top official announced yesterday. National security adviser Mouwafak al-Rubaie also said the former Al Qaeda boss, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, had been buried secretly in Baghdad despite his family's demand that the body be returned to Jordan. Zarqawi died June 7 from a US airstrike northeast of Baghdad. Rubaie told reporters the government was releasing the most wanted list ``so that our people can know their enemies." Hussein's wife, Sajida Khairallah Tulfah, was number 17, just behind the ousted leader's eldest daughter, Raghad. Sajida is believed to be in Qatar, and Raghad lives in Jordan, where she was given refuge by King Abdullah II. ``We have contacted all the neighboring countries and they know what we want. Some of these countries are cooperating with us," Rubaie said. ``We will chase them inside and outside Iraq. We will chase them one after the other." Iraqi officials have long alleged that Hussein's relatives who fled the country have been financing insurgent groups linked to the former ruling Baath party. Raghad has played a leading role in organizing her father's legal defense against charges stemming from his 23-year rule. The number 1 spot on the list went to Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, formerly Hussein's top lieutenant and the highest-ranking regime figure to elude capture. The US has offered $10 million for Douri, who is alleged to be among the key organizers of the insurgency. Although US and Iraqi officials often draw attention to religious extremists in the insurgency, such as the members of Al Qaeda in Iraq, most of those on the list had close links to Hussein's regime. They include Baath party leaders, intelligence officials, and Republican Guard officers. Number 30 on the list is Abu Ayyub al-Masri, also known as Abu Hamza al-Muhajer, who was endorsed by Osama bin Laden as leader of Al Qaeda's operations in Iraq in an audiotape posted Saturday on the Internet. The government offered a $50,000 reward for Masri. Last week, the US administration approved a reward up to $5 million for Masri, who is believed to be Egyptian.
Read in Full Member of Saddam's defense team says Qatar will ignore extradition request for Saddam's wife. Jordan also says that Saddam's daughter is under royal protection. Various people make various assertions about Zarqawi For what it's worth . . .
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- Abu Musab al-Zarqawi had the phone numbers of senior Iraqi officials stored in his cell phone, according to an Iraqi legislator. Waiel Abdul-Latif, a member of former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi's party, said Monday that authorities found the numbers after al-Zarqawi, leader of al Qaeda in Iraq, was killed in a U.S. air strike on June 7. Abdul-Latif did not give names of the officials. But he said they included ministry employees and members of parliament. He called for an investigation, saying Iraqis "cannot have one hand with the government and another with the terrorists." Meanwhile, al-Zarqawi's wife told an Italian newspaper that al Qaeda leaders sold him out to the United States in exchange for a promise to let up in the search for Osama bin Laden. The woman, identified by La Repubblica as al-Zarqawi's first wife, said al Qaeda's top leadership reached a deal with U.S. intelligence because al Zarqawi had become too powerful. She claimed Sunni tribes and Jordanian secret services mediated the deal. "My husband has been sold to the Americans," the woman said in an interview published Sunday. "He had become too powerful, too troublesome." She was identified only as "Um Mohammed," which means "mother of Mohammed" and would be a nickname, not her full name. The Rome-based newspaper said the interview was conducted in Geneva and described her as Jordanian and about 40 years old. In Jordan, Al-Zarqawi's eldest brother, Sayel al-Khalayleh, said the family had not been aware of the woman's whereabouts for about two years. Iraq's national security adviser said Sunday that al-Zarqawi had been buried in a "secret location" in Baghdad despite his family's demand that the body be returned to his native Jordan. Mouwafak al-Rubaie would not say when the Jordanian-born militant was buried, or give any specifics on the location of the grave. The U.S. military confirmed the burial but declined to give details.
Read in Full New details about alleged rape-murder by U.S. soldiers in Mahmudiya.
By Ellen Knickmeyer, Washington Post Foreign Service BAGHDAD, July 2 -- Fifteen-year-old Abeer Qasim Hamza was afraid, her mother confided in a neighbor. As pretty as she was young, the girl had attracted the unwelcome attention of U.S. soldiers manning a checkpoint that the girl had to pass through almost daily in their village in the south-central city of Mahmudiyah, her mother told the neighbor. Abeer told her mother again and again in her last days that the soldiers had made advances toward her, a neighbor, Omar Janabi, said this weekend, recounting a conversation he said he had with the girl's mother, Fakhriyah, on March 10. Fakhriyah feared that the Americans might come for her daughter at night, at their home. She asked her neighbor if Abeer might sleep at his house, with the women there. Janabi said he agreed. Then, "I tried to reassure her, remove some of her fear," Janabi said. "I told her, the Americans would not do such a thing." Abeer did not live to take up the offer of shelter. Instead, attackers came to the girl's house the next day, apparently separating Abeer from her mother, father and young sister. Janabi and others knowledgeable about the incident said they believed that the attackers raped Abeer in another room. Medical officials who handled the bodies also said the girl had been raped, but they did not elaborate. Before leaving, the attackers fatally shot the four family members -- two of Abeer's brothers had been away at school -- and attempted to set Abeer's body on fire, according to Janabi, another neighbor who spoke on condition of anonymity, the mayor of Mahmudiyah and a hospital administrator with knowledge of the case.
Read in Full Juan Cole says this story is so explosive explosive that most Iraqi newspapers have not reported it. One wonders what will happen as more Iraqis become aware of it, as they inevitably will. It is worth noting that this is near where the U.S. soldiers were abducted and killed - C. Maliki is touring the Gulf region to drum up support for his "national reconciliation plan. Gets general expressions of support, no substantive developments. Meanwhile, SCIRI leader Abdel Aziz al-Hakim says amnesty should extent to fighters who have killed Americans
07-03-2006, 12h27 BAGHDAD (AFP) -- Iraqi Shiite leader Abdel Aziz al-Hakim, the head of parliament's largest bloc, has told AFP that he favours extending an amnesty to insurgents who may have killed US troops. "Yes, they should be covered regardless of their religious or ethnic affiliations," Hakim said in an interview when asked if he would support extending a reconciliation and amnesty plan unveiled by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki to those who may have attacked US-led troops in Iraq. Hakim's position would contradict that of his government ally Maliki, also a Shiite, who said on Wednesday that there would be no amnesty to those who killed US troops, foreigners or journalists. At the same time Hakim said he would categorically oppose any dialogue with "Saddamists and takfeeris", catchall terms used by hardline Shiites to refer to loyalists of ousted leader Saddam Hussein and extremist Sunni Arab militants who regard Iraq's majority Shiites as apostates. Hakim, who also heads the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI) party, visited Tehran last month where he met with the top leadership of the Islamic republic. Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called on US and other foreign troops to leave Iraq following his meeting with Hakim.
Read in Full The Home Front: Sen. Levin says U.S. withdrawal inevitable
ESCANABA — Though a recent proposal in Congress to set a target date to begin withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq failed, the same lawmakers who voted against it will eventually come to support redeployment, Democratic U.S. Sen. Carl Levin said during a visit to Escanaba Saturday. Late last month Levin, who serves on the armed services committee, and Jack Reed, D-R.I., introduced an amendment on U.S. policy on Iraq which called for the beginning of a phased redeployment of U.S. forces by the end of the year. The senate rejected the amendment 60-39 on June 22. “Republicans said it was surrender,” said Levin. “They’re going to end up, I believe, supporting the same thing... We’ve got to find a way to leave Iraq.” Levin predicted the White House will announce troop reduction in Iraq later this year. “It’s too obvious that our ongoing, unlimited commitment is not working,” said Levin. “I’m very confident — regardless of what people are saying now — that this is where the White House will end up.” The amendment had “a lot of support in the military,” said Levin. “Our commander on the ground, Gen. Casey (Army Gen. George W. Casey Jr.) is basically in favor of reductions this year.”
Read in Full Kurds fear for their lives traveling between Kirkuk and Baghdad
By Frman Abdulrahman in Kirkuk and Sulaimaniyah (ICR No. 183, 30-Jun-06) In October 2005, Shamal Abdulkareem, a Kurdish trader, was driving his new BMW from Baghdad to Kirkuk when gunmen ambushed him on the Uzem road. They stole his car and the 30,000 US dollars he was carrying to purchase goods. He was locked up in a house for two weeks, beaten and given little food or water. Eventually, the kidnappers let him go in exchange for a 50,000 dollar ransom, which his family paid. Although the abductors claimed to be members of an Islamic group, Abdulkareem believes they were common criminals in search of financial gain. He says he never once saw them pray. "Those gunmen have no morality - they are beasts,” said Abdulkareem. While there are no statistics available on how many people have been kidnapped on the Uzem road, it is quickly developing a reputation as one of the most dangerous thoroughfares in Iraq. Kurds have taken to calling it the “Road of Death”. In August 2005, convoys of Iraqi president Jalal Talabani’s guards were attacked on the road and five of them were killed. Named after the Uzem district between Baghdad and Kirkuk, it stretches for 110 kilometres across the plains and serves as the main highway between the capital and the north of the country. Because it is the most direct route to Baghdad, it was used a lot after the fall of Sadaam when it became possible for Kurds to travel to the capital. Now, however, militants stalk the road, ambushing and kidnapping Kurds. Some of the militant groups are in it for the money and target Kurds because they believe them to be wealthier than Arabs. Others are likely remnants of the Baath regime, who’ve long regarded Kurds as their enemies. And yet others are Islamic groups who accuse the Kurds of collaborating and cooperating with American troops. Sometimes, according to police sources in Kirkuk, the groups cooperate and sell victims to one another.
Read in Full Beyond Iraq Israel reject ultimatum from captors of Israeli soldier, continues assault on Gaza. From BBC: "Israeli officials say the prime minister told his cabinet on Sunday that he had given the army orders 'to make sure no one sleeps at night in Gaza'. Collective punishment used to be considered a war crime. -- C U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan says 20 insurgents killed in Helmand province after they attacked unspecified foreign troops. Two coalition soldiers injured. Reuters also reports: Quote of the Day How many more Iraqi babies are we going to allow our leaders to murder before we realize that all babies are precious, loved, and mourned when they are killed? How many more empty speeches and blathering platitudes will we allow our misleaders to utter before they are held accountable? How many more mothers are we going to watch sobbing and draped over their children's flag-draped coffins before we get out in the streets and demand an end to the immoral and illegal occupation so no other mothers will have to be plunged into a pool of pain? I had my fill on 04/04/04 when my son Casey was killed in a war that never should have happened. How many more will it take for you? Cindy Sheehan at Gold Star Families for Peace.


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