14 Hours In Iraq

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Al-Sharqiyah TV reported on its 2 pm news broadcast last Sunday the security and political developments of that day.

The report stated: ‘The US Army announced that five of its soldiers were killed in Baghdad, raising the number of Americans killed in Iraq since the beginning of October to 85, as the US Command said today.

‘A US military statement said that the five soldiers were killed in neighbourhoods southwest of Baghdad and in western and eastern Baghdad.

‘The statement said that three soldiers were killed in attacks, which it termed terrorist, by light weapons targeting their patrol.

‘Two others were killed in the explosion of a homemade bomb when their patrol was travelling, without mentioning the place.

‘October is one of the deadliest months for the US army since its invasion of Iraq in March 2003.

‘Around 140,000 US troops are currently deployed in Iraq.’

The broadcast added: ‘A suicide bomber blew himself up amid a crowd of shoppers at a market on Palestine Street east of Baghdad.

‘A security spokesman said that the bomber sneaked into a clothes market on Palestine Street and blew himself up before the breaking of the fast yesterday, causing the martyrdom of six civilians and the wounding of 20 others, including women and children.

‘The source said that the number of martyrs is likely to increase as some of the wounded are in a critical condition.’

The broadcast continued with: ‘The Iraqi police said that its detachments found 27 bodies yesterday in Baghdad.

‘A security spokesman said that the victims were executed by gunfire in various areas of Baghdad.

‘He said that some of the bodies were blindfolded and had marks of torture.’

The announcer added: ‘Unknown people set a market in the centre of Baquba on fire last night.

‘The unknown people engaged in a confrontation with police patrols. A correspondent for Al-Sharqiyah quoted the police as saying that they killed two gunmen, but they could not control the huge fire, which destroyed 18 shops completely.

‘In another development, gunmen assassinated Major Ra’id Ali Ahmad from the Citizenship Directorate near the village of Al-Aswad north of Baquba.

‘Also, four policemen and some civilians were killed in an attack last night in Balad Ruz.’

Moving onto western Iraq the news broadcaster continued: ‘The US forces enforced strict measures in Al-Fallujah.

‘The entrances of the city continue to be blocked and entry to it and exit from it were not allowed.

‘Press sources said that US armoured vehicles roamed the streets of the city throughout yesterday and stopped cars and checked them thoroughly.

‘Helicopters flew over the city. The strict measures prevented citizens from leaving their homes.

‘Many shops had to close at the peak of shopping on the eve of Id al-Fitr.’

The broadcast added: ‘An explosive charge hit a US patrol in the city of Hit, west of Iraq, disabling a Hummer vehicle. There are no reports about casualties.

‘Two British patrols were attacked in two separate incidents in Basra in southern Iraq.

‘A spokesman for the British forces said that gunmen opened fire on one of the patrols in Al-Baradi’iyah, where there is a British base.

‘Others opened fire on another patrol in Al-Qiblah, west of Basra.

‘The spokesman said that there were no clashes between the attackers and the British troops in the two incidents and that there were no casualties.’

On ‘political developments’ the news report noted that ‘Nechirvan Barzani, head of the Iraqi Kurdistan government, said that he hopes to solve a dispute with Baghdad over control of oil sources during an upcoming visit to the Iraqi capital.

‘In statements published today by The Financial Times, he said that he hopes to visit Baghdad after Id al-Fitr and to be able to solve this problem.

‘Barzani told the newspaper that he also hopes to settle a dispute over the oil revenues obtained by the Iraqi Kurdistan Region from the government.’

The report added that ‘Senator John Kerry, former presidential candidate of the Democratic Party, has urged US President George Bush to adopt a more firm attitude towards Iraqi leaders.

‘Kerry said in a television interview, while commenting on the pledge of US President Bush to Prime Minister Al-Maliki not to withdraw from Iraq before achieving victory, that Bush should have been franker and should have said that the young men of our country would not sacrifice their lives and limbs for the sake of Iraqi leaders who reject agreement on a compromise.’

The report continued that ‘The Association of Muslim Scholars in Iraq has condemned a raid conducted jointly by the Iraqi and US forces on the Burhan Mulla Hummadi Mosque in Al-Khadra neighbourhood west of Baghdad and the arrest of six of its guards and confiscation of 11.5m dinars of alms money.

‘In a statement, the associations said that the raid, which was conducted on Saturday, came only a few hours after the signing of the Mecca pact for stopping Iraqi bloodshed.

‘The statement held the government and the US forces responsible for the safety of the detainees and the return of confiscated funds to distribute it to the needy.’

Meanwhile, ‘The Iraqi Republican Assembly has renewed its support for the important principles included in the Mecca document on halting Iraqi bloodshed.

‘Sa’d Asim al-Janabi, secretary general of the assembly, told Al-Sharqiyah that the situation in Iraq requires action on several fronts to heal the rift.

‘He hoped that the goals for which the scholars of Iraq got together will be achieved.’

Al-Sharqiyah carried a report quoting The New York Times on a plan being drafted by the US Administration that includes a timetable with specific tasks for the Iraqi government before the end of the year’.