Cross-Cultural Understanding

News, March 2008


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Editorial Note: The following news reports are summaries from original sources. They may also include corrections of Arabic names and political terminology. Comments are in parentheses.

2 US Soldiers, 66 Iraqis Killed in War Attacks, Including 10 Executed by Death Squads, According to March 17, 2008 News Reports reported that three bodies of Iraqis executed by death squads were found in Mosul today.

Karbala bombing casualties up to 111  

Karbala - Voices of Iraq

Monday , 17 /03 /2008  Time 11:52:06   

Karbala, Mar 17, (VOI)-

Casualties from the explosion that ripped through central Karbala on Monday rose to 40 people killed and 71 others wounded, a medical source said.

“The death toll of the suicide bombing attack that took place today near Imam Hussein shrine in central Karbala, rose to 40 dead and 71 wounded, including women and children, most of them are in critical condition,” Saleem Kazem, director of the Karbala health department, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq (VOI).

Kazem had said earlier that a female suicide bomber blew up an explosive belt strapped to her body 300 meters from Imam Hussein shrine in central Karbala, killing 39 and injuring 54, including women and children. “A number of ambulances carrying medical aides arrived in Karbala from Najaf and Hilla to help treating the injured persons,” Kazem added. Meanwhile, a security source, preferred anonymity, told the VOI that “security authorities imposed a curfew on the city after the attack until further notice.” Karbala is 130 km southwest of Baghdad. SH

Police find seven bodies in Baghdad  

Baghdad - Voices of Iraq

Monday , 17 /03 /2008  Time 11:52:06

    Baghdad, Mar 17, (VOI) - Iraqi police patrols on Monday found seven unknown bodies dumped in different parts of the Iraqi capital Baghdad, a police source said. "Police patrols found seven unidentified bodies in different areas of Baghdad," the source told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI).

"The forces found one body in al-Bayaa neighborhood in western Baghdad and two corpses in al-Ubeidi and Jisr Diala neighborhoods in al-Rasafa, eastern Baghdad,” he explained. "Four bodies were found buried in al-Wardiya village in al-Madaen region, southeast of Baghdad, the source added. "Most of the bodies found bore signs of gunshot wounds to different parts of the body, mainly to the head," he noted. SH

Falluja police kill al-Qaeda operative in Anbar  

Monday , 17 /03 /2008  Time 11:52:06

    Anbar-Voices of Iraq Anbar, March 17, (VOI)-

Police on Monday killed a gunman believed to be al-Qaeda network operative in al-Thirthar district, Anbar province, a security source said. “A police force killed a gunman and wounded another in armed clashes with al-Qaeda network fighters ensconced at al-Thirthar district, 25 km north Falluja”, a source in Falluja police, who requested anonymity, told Aswat al-Iraq.

The source added “the clashes broke out when police launched a raid on the gunmen who attacked and plundered passengers driving between Anbar and Salahuddin provinces. Thirthar is a desert area linking Anbar and Salahuddin province. The area has been a stage for al-Qaeda network attacks to control the roads leading to northern and western provinces along with Baghdad Falluja, one

Two U.S. soldiers killed in Baghdad  

Baghdad - Voices of Iraq

Monday , 17 /03 /2008  Time 11:52:06    

Baghdad, Mar 17, (VOI)-

The U.S. army in Iraq said on Monday that two soldiers were killed when a roadside bomb exploded targeting their vehicle patrol in Baghdad.

“Two Multi-National Division –

Baghdad Soldiers were killed when an improvised-explosive device struck the Soldiers’ vehicle at approximately 12:20 p.m. on March 17,” the U.S. army said in a statement received by Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq (VOI). “The Soldiers were conducting a route-clearance combat operation north of Baghdad when the attacked occurred,” it added.

The deaths bring the number of the U.S. troops killed in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003 to 3,990 according to statistics released by the U.S. army. Of this number, 17 U.S. soldiers have been killed so far in March 2008. . SH

12 killed, injured in mortar attack in Baghdad  

Baghdad - Voices of Iraq

Monday , 17 /03 /2008  Time 11:52:06

    Baghdad, Mar 17, (VOI)-

Five civilians were killed and seven others were injured on Monday in a mortar attack in southeastern Baghdad, a source from the interior ministry said.

“Two mortar shells landed on Monday evening near Ibn Saad school in al-Ghadeer region in southeastern Baghdad,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq (VOI) on condition of anonymity.

“The explosion killed five civilians and injured seven,” he added. “The two shells landed on a football court, where a number of young men were playing soccer,” the source noted. SH  

Policeman killed in Basra  

Basra - Voices of Iraq

Monday , 17 /03 /2008  Time 11:52:06

    Basra, Mar 17, (VOI) –

One policeman was killed by unidentified gunmen in central Basra on Monday morning, a security source from the Basra police said. “Unidentified gunmen opened fire at a policeman in the Old Town in central Basra, killing him instantly,” the source, who asked not to be named, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq – (VOI), not revealing further details.

Meanwhile, a source in the Basra morgue said the unidentified body of a woman found in al-Zubair district, (35 km) west of Basra, was received on Monday, noting the corpse showed signs of having been shot. The Basra morgue on Sunday had received the bodies of an officer in the rank of captain and two policemen. The oil-rich port city of Basra lies 590 km south of the Iraqi capital Baghdad. AE

Karrada blast casualties up to 11  

Baghdad - Voices of Iraq

Monday , 17 /03 /2008  Time 11:52:06   

Baghdad, Mar 17, (VOI) –

Casualties from Monday’s earlier explosive vehicle attack in the area of al-Karrada, central Baghdad, rose to three deaths and eight civilians others injured, the Iraqi police said.

“A roadside car bomb went off at the Uqba Ibn Nafie in al-Karrada area, killing three people and wounding eight others,” a police source told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq – (VOI), not giving further details.

The spokesman for the Baghdad security operations command, Maj. General Qassem Atta, had said one civilian man was killed and three others wounded in an improvised explosive device (IED) attack, the third one in the Iraqi capital on Monday.

Earlier on Monday an Iraqi police source said one policeman was killed and four others wounded in two successive blasts in Baghdad. “An improvised explosive device went off near an Iraqi police patrol in the western Baghdad neighborhood of al-Mansour, killing a policeman and wounding another,” the source, who requested anonymity, told VOI. “Shortly after the first blast, another roadside IED went off near the al-Shaab playground, in the eastern Baghdad area of Zayouna, wounding three civilians,” the source said.   AE

Policeman killed in attack on checkpoint in Anbar   Anbar - Voices of Iraq

Monday , 17 /03 /2008  Time 11:52:06

    Anbar, Mar 17, (VOI) –

A policeman was killed when unidentified gunmen attacked an Iraqi police checkpoint in central Haditha city, 170 km west of Ramadi, on Monday, a security source said.

“The gunmen used automatic weapons in the attack. Police reinforcements arrived at the scene but the assailants managed to escape,” the source, who declined to be named, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq – (VOI). Ramadi, the capital of the predominantly Sunni province of Anbar, lies 110 km west of Baghdad. AE  

U.S. consulate in Babel comes under Katyusha attack  

Babel - Voices of Iraq

Monday , 17 /03 /2008  Time 11:52:06

    Babel, Mar 17, (VOI) –

The U.S. consulate for the south-central area in Babel province came under three Katyusha missiles on Monday but no casualties or damage were reported, a security source in Babel said. “Three missiles were fired from the area of Abi Gharq, (50 km) north of Hilla, in the direction of the U.S. consulate in Babel.

The missiles fell near the checkpoint close to the consulate, headquartered in the Babel Hotel,” the source, who did not want his name mentioned, told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq – (VOI).

“Policemen rushed to the scene and managed to defuse seven missiles that were ready for firing,” the source said, adding “the launching pads were home-made.” The missile attack is the second on the U.S. consulate in the south-central area in just one week.

On Friday, the consulate came under an attack with 37 missiles but fell on nearby neighborhoods and wounded nine civilians and damaged some houses. Hilla, the capital of Babel, lies 100 km south of Baghdad. AE

Cheney and McCain in Baghdad to Press for a Long-Term US Military Presence in Iraq

Cheney in unexpected visit to Iraq  

Baghdad - Voices of Iraq

Monday , 17 /03 /2008  Time 11:52:06    

Baghdad, Mar 17, (VOI)-

U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney, on Monday, arrived in Baghdad on a surprise visit during which he is expected to hold meetings with American military commanders and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and other officials.

The spokeswoman for the U.S. embassy in Baghdad Mirembe Nantongo told Aswat al-Iraq –Voices of Iraq- (VOI) that Cheney "arrived in Iraq today and will meet with U.S. military leaders and Ambassador Ryan Crocker in addition to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and other Iraqi officials."

This visit comes in conjunction with the fifth anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion on Iraq. It was on March 17, 2003, President gave former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein a 48 hours ultimate to step down or to face the war. It also comes in the framework of a tour by Vice President Dick Cheney in the Middle East started the Sultanate of Oman and will also include Saudi Arabia and Israel, the West Bank and Turkey. On Sunday, the Republican candidate for the U.S. presidential elections, John McCain, arrived in Baghdad on unannounced visit which is the eighth since the fall of the former regime in 2003. SK

Premier receives McCain  

Baghdad - Voices of Iraq

Monday , 17 /03 /2008  Time 11:52:06    

Baghdad, Mar 17, (VOI) –

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki received on Monday morning John McCain, the Republican Party’s candidate for the U.S. presidential elections, who had arrived in Baghdad Sunday on an unannounced visit, according to the official al-Iraqiya TV station.

McCain met in the Iraqi capital on Sunday with a number of officials at the U.S. embassy. McCain was a candidate for the Republican nomination in the 2000 presidential election, but was defeated by George W. Bush after closely contested battles in several early primary states. In the 2008 presidential election cycle, McCain was the Republican front-runner as the cycle began. Earlier on Monday U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney arrived in Baghdad on an unannounced visit during which he is expected to hold meetings with U.S. military commanders, Premier Maliki and other officials. AE

Maliki, Cheney discuss US-Iraq long-term agreement  

Baghdad - Voices of Iraq

Monday , 17 /03 /2008  Time 11:52:06

Baghdad, March17, (VOI)-

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki said he and the US Vice President Dick Cheney discussed ongoing negotiations over a long-term security agreement between the two countries that would replace the U.N. mandate for foreign troops set to expire at the end of the year.

Speaking at a joint press conference with Cheney, Al-Maliki said "this visit is very important. It is about the nature of the relations between the two countries, the future of those relations and the agreement in this respect”. "We also discussed the security in Iraq, the development of the economy and reconstruction and terrorism.”

The PM added. Early December, Iraq and US government signed a primary accord for an agreement that would allow “long-term” stay for US troops in Iraq to secure its territories and ward off external threats. US Vice President Dick Cheney lauded the Iraqi officials for passing key laws and achieving improvements in security. Cheney, said the “Iraqis have made legislative advances that would be vital to the country's future”.

“There was no question but there had been a dramatic improvement in security”, Cheney noted. Cheney landed at Baghdad International Airport, and then flew by helicopter into the dusty, heavily secured Green Zone for talks with U.S. military and diplomatic officials and the Iraqi prime minister. It is Cheney's third vice presidential trip to Iraq where 160,000 American troops are deployed and the U.S. death toll is nearing 4,000. .

Vice president last visited the country in May 2007 before the president's buildup of more than 30,000 additional U.S. troops was in full gear. Security has improved markedly since last summer when the last of the five Army brigades arrived in Iraq to complete the military buildup, but Iraqi politicians are still in gridlock over the government and key bills of laws. Bush and Cheney have just 10 months before they hand off the administration to the next U.S. president. AM

SIIC leader, Cheney mull long-term agreement  

Baghdad - Voices of Iraq

Monday , 17 /03 /2008  Time 11:52:06

    Baghdad, Mar 17, (VOI)-

Shiite Leader Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim received U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney at his office in Baghdad on Monday. Speaking at a joint press conference, al-Hakim said that a number of important issues were discussed during the meeting, including the strategic agreement between Iraq and the United States, noting that they shared identical viewpoints regarding the principles the agreement should include, mainly maintaining Iraq’s sovereignty and removing Iraq from under Chapter VII of the U.N. Charter.

“The meeting also tackled the latest development in the country and approving a number of legislatures,” Hakim, who is also the leader of the Shiite Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council (SIIC), said. “We asserted the need to foster Iraqi forces and give them responsibilities,” the Shiite leader added. For his part, the visiting U.S. official said that “United States is looking forward for a security and political partnership with all Iraqi leaders throughout the country.”

“The meeting was an opportunity to discuss several issues of the Iraqi interest,” he added. “We still have a lot to do, but the Iraqi people have to know that our support will continue,” he said, underlining that the U.S. keenness to support Iraqis until realizing their goals. Cheney said he witnessed several achievements in the security and political fields. The meeting was attended by Vice President Adel Abdul Mahdi and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker. U.S. President Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki issued a joint letter in November.

The "Declaration of Principles" appears as a mutual "expression of friendship." According to this declaration the United States will help get Iraq into the World Trade Organization. The two countries will engage in scientific and cultural exchanges.

It also includes a provision that promises to maintain security assurances and commitments to Iraq to deter foreign aggression against the country that violates its sovereignty and integrity of its territories, waters, or airspace.

Last January Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zibari said that Iraqi will ink a long term security, political and economic agreement with the U.S. in mid July 2008. Cheney had arrived in Baghdad earlier on a surprise visit to the country.   SH


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