Monday, January 17, 2005

Iraq News Brief.Jan 17th.

Iraqi national council member Dr.Salamah Al-Khafajii on Sunday escaped an assassination attempt in Baghdad reported by the interior minisitry,without giving any further detail.In the northern city of Mosul,U.S troops and Iraqi guards made several raids into specific districts of the city in an effort to try and secure the area before the Jan 30th elections.Eleven suspected insurgents were detained including an alledged cell leader,quantities of weapons and bomb making materials were confiscated in the raids.Iraqs top Shiite cleric,Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani reiterated his support for the Unified Iraqi Alliance list which is widely expected to dominate the Jan 30th elections,one of his aides revealed.
"Grand Ayatollah Al Sistani stresses the need to hold the elections at the scheduled date and confirms his support for list 169,"Sheikh al-Abudi said Sunday.He was refering to the Unified Iraqi Alliance,a grouping of major Shiite parties and is headed by Abdel Aziz Hakim.Turkey has cautioned Iraqi authorities to reject the registration of Kurdish voters in the northern oil rich city of Kirkuk who are not legally entitled to vote.The Turkish official spoke after the Kurds reached a deal with the Iraqi goverment clearing the way for an estimated 100,000 Kurds expelled from Kiruk under Saddam Husseins regime to vote.The deal effectively tips the balance of power to the Kurds in the ethnically volatile city.
The son of an aide to Al Sistani was assassinated south east of Baghdad on Sunday.Ali al Khatib,the 30 year old son of the Sheikh,was shot dead by a gunman in an internet cafe in the town Naamaniyah.U.S General Carter Ham blamed former elements of Saddam Husseins regime now residing in Syria for the rise of attacks against occupation troops inside Iraq,Syria denied the allegations.Irans former president,Rafsanjani in his weekly sermon broadcast on radio and television said that,"The Muslims should take advantage of the political openness and kick Americans out of the region"."
Centcom announced the death of 1 U.S serviceman Sunday in the west of Baghdad,the death has been recorded as non hostile.
Resistance activity from the independant Arabic news services of Mafkarat al Islams reporters who are embedded in towns and areas throughout Iraq stated that Sundays resistance attacks resulted in some 141 Coalition casualties along with over 30 Iraqi police and guards,it states that some 19 humvees,5 bradleys,1 abrams tank,2 armoured vehicles,5 supply trucks and 1 cobra helicopter were destroyed or disabled in the days fighting.