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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.

27 Iraqis Killed in War Attacks, Al-Sadr Isolates himself, US-Iranian Talks Delayed, According to March 7, 2008 News Reports reported the following news today:

- One person was killed, 14 were injured when a bomb exploded in front of a house of a policeman in Mosul.
- A US Hummer and Bradley armored vehicles were attacked with roadside bombing in the Al-'Amel and Al-Haddadah neighborhoods in Samarra.

U.S. forces kill, arrest 25 al-Qaeda armed men in central Iraq
Baghdad - Voices of Iraq
Saturday , 08 /03 /2008  Time 8:38:06 
Baghdad, Mar 7, (VOI)-

(US-led) Coalition forces killed eight gunmen and detained 17 suspects Thursday and Friday during operations allegedly against al-Qaeda fighters opposing US forces in Iraq.

"Northeast of Samarra near the Hamrin Mountains today, Coalition forces conducted an operation targeting the alleged al-Qaeda in Iraq leader for the Kana'an village. The targeted individual is reportedly associated with numerous AQI members in the region. During the operation, the ground force called for the occupants of several target buildings to come out and observed them attempting to engage the ground force," the U.S. army said in a statement received by Aswat al-Iraq Voices of Iraq (VOI).

Police find 3 bodies in Baghdad
Baghdad - Voices of Iraq
Saturday , 08 /03 /2008  Time 8:38:06 
Baghdad, Mar 7, (VOI) -

Iraqi police patrols found three unidentified bodies dumped in different parts of the Iraqi capital Baghdad during the past 24 hours, an interior ministry source said on Friday.
"Police patrols found three unknown corpses dumped in various parts of Baghdad," the source, who asked to remain unnamed, told Aswat al-Iraq - Voices of Iraq - (VOI).

The source added "two bodies were found in al-Khadraa and al-Salam neighborhoods in Baghdad's western side of al-Karkh, while the third body was found in Ur neighborhood, eastern Baghdad."

"The bodies bore signs of gunshot wounds to different parts of the body, mainly to the head," he noted. SH

Key gunmen killed in Diala
Diala - Voices of Iraq
Saturday , 08 /03 /2008  Time 8:38:06  
Diala, Mar 7, (VOI)

The "finance minister" and the "governor" of Salah al-Din province in the self-styled Islamic State in Iraq group were killed along with four members others in a U.S. raid on their hideout northeast of Baghdad on Friday, an official military source in Diala said.

"U.S. warplanes pounded a stronghold of al-Qaeda in a village in al-Azhim district, Diala, killing six gunmen, including the so-called minister of finance and governor of Salah al-Din of the Islamic State in Iraq (ISI)," the source, who asked not to be named, told Aswat al-Iraq Voices of Iraq (VOI).

"Sattar Jaber, the so-called minister of finance, and Ammar Hamad Da'ayan, the so-called governor of Salah al-Din were killed in a U.S. raid on their hideout in al-Bu Muhammad in al-Khalis district, (15 km) north of Ba'aqouba, along with four other members of al-Qaeda.
The Islamic State in Iraq, an armed organization that has links with al-Qaeda network, emerged after the U.S. forces entered Iraq in 2003 and is active in the northern parts of Iraq.
Ba'aqouba, the capital of Diala, lies 57 km northeast of Baghdad.


4 pilgrims killed, 4 wounded in road accident south of Babel
Babel - Voices of Iraq
Saturday , 08 /03 /2008  Time 8:38:06 
Babel, Mar 7, (VOI)

Four pilgrims were killed and four others wounded in a road accident south of Babel while on their way to Najaf on Friday to commemorate the death of the Prophet Muhammad, a security source in Babel province said.

"A vehicle carrying a number of pilgrims to Najaf collided with a Hummer belonging to the Iraqi army in the area of al-Kifl, (40 km) south of Hilla, leaving four killed and four others wounded," the source, who preferred not to be named, told Aswat al-Iraq Voices of Iraq (VOI).

Blast in western Mosul leaves 21 casualties
Ninewa - Voices of Iraq
Saturday , 08 /03 /2008  Time 8:38:06 
Ninewa, Mar 7, (VOI)

A suicide bomber on Friday morning crashed his explosive-rigged vehicle into a police station in western Mosul, killing four policemen and wounding 17 others, an official source in the Ninewa police said. 

"The car bomb targeted the al-Waqqas police station in Ras al-Jada area, western Mosul, killing four policemen and injuring 17 others," the source, who did not want his name mentioned, told Aswat al-Iraq Voices of Iraq (VOI).

Mosul, the capital of Ninewa, lies 405 km north of Baghdad.


Sadr explains reasons behind absence
Karbala - Voices of Iraq
Saturday , 08 /03 /2008  Time 8:38:06 
Baghdad, Mar 7, (VOI)-

Shi'i Cleric Muqtada al-Sadr issued a statement on Friday explaining his long absence to his followers, asserting that the continued presence of the occupation forces is one of the main reasons that pushed him to take this isolation.

In the statement spread in the city of Karbala during the Friday sermon, al-Sadr said he had chosen to isolate himself to concentrate on his studies and to distance himself from groups that had splintered from his movement and developed their own political agendas.

"Many whom we believed were good followers are not listening to or obeying the instructions of their religious leaders and they are involved in political conflicts," he added.

"Many followers have split from me for many reasons; some of them want to be independent. This does not mean there are not loyal followers," he also said.

"The continued presence of the occupiers pushed me to take this isolation. It is a way to express my protest at what is going on," the Shiite cleric highlighted.

Two weeks ago, Muqtada al-Sadr extended the freeze on his Mahdi Army militia's activities for six months.

Mahdi Army is the military arm of the Sadrist bloc, or Iraqis loyal to Sadr. In August 2007, Sadr announced a unilateral freeze on all military operations by his army, including those against U.S. and allied forces, for six months "for restructuring purposes." SH

Absence of U.S. delegation behind delayed meeting with Iranians spokesman
Baghdad - Voices of Iraq
Saturday , 08 /03 /2008  Time 8:38:06  
Baghdad, Mar 7, (VOI)

The absence of the U.S. delegation was behind the postponement of a meeting scheduled to be held with the Iranian side, the Iraqi government spokesman said on Friday.

"Representatives from the Iraqi government have already met with the Iranian delegation that arrived in Baghdad for these talks but for unknown reasons the U.S. side did not attend the meeting," Ali al-Dabbagh told Aswat al-Iraq Voices of Iraq (VOI), adding the Iranian delegation "was ready for the talks."

The fourth round of U.S.-Iranian talks on Iraq was supposed to be convened on Thursday but was cancelled after the Iranian delegation arrived in Baghdad and the U.S. side did not show up.
"The Iraqi government hopes the current UN Security Council meetings and the sanctions planned to be imposed on Iran would not reflect on the U.S. will to attend the talks on the Iraqi affairs," Dabbagh said.

The UNSC on Monday planned to impose sanctions on Iran due to its rejection to stop its uranium-enriching activities within its nuclear program. The third package of sanctions involved an embargo on trade exchange with Tehran over commodities of dual military-civilian use.
"The Iraqi government is working out a new date for Iranian-U.S. meetings on Iraq," Dabbagh noted.


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