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Saturday, June 12, 2004

Iraq War News
Iraqi Kidnappers Kill Lebanese Hostage: "Iraqi gunmen kidnapped three Lebanese in Iraq and killed one of them, a Lebanese Foreign Ministry official said Saturday. (AP)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq

Blair told 'heed anti-war message': "Tony Blair must persuade Labour supporters there could be no repeat of an Iraq-style war if the party is to recover from its local election hammering and win a third term in power, former foreign secretary Robin Cook said."

In Ananova: War In Iraq

Turkish hostages released in Iraq: "Seven Turkish contractors taken hostage in Iraq were released by their kidnappers, their employer said Saturday."

In Seattle Post-Intelligencer: War on Iraq

Al-Zawahri accuses U.S. in new tape: "A new audiotape believed to be from al-Qaida No. 2 Ayman al-Zawahri alleges that a U.S. plan for reform in the Middle East is really a bid to replace Arab leaders."

In Seattle Post-Intelligencer: War on Iraq

Gunmen Kill Iraqi Foreign Ministry Official: "Gunmen fatally wounded a seniorofficial of Iraq's foreign ministry in Baghdad Saturday, aforeign ministry official said. (Reuters)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq

Various updates and some hard truth in

Sadr Supports Interim Government: "Moktada al-Sadr says he supports the new Iraqi interim government. The New York Times reports:

The anti-American Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr on Friday endorsed the new interim Iraqi government and appeared to urge his followers to honor a week-old cease-fire that has been frayed by continuing violence.
A senior aide to Mr. Sadr, Sheik Jabir al-Khafaji, used a sermon during Friday Prayers in the Sadr stronghold of Kufa, 120 miles south of here, to announce that Mr. Sadr now approved of the interim government he had previously mocked and that he wanted its leaders to set a timetable for the departure of occupation forces.
" ?From now on, I beg you to start afresh for Iraq for the sake of peace and safety,' " Sheik Khafaji quoted Mr. Sadr as saying. " ?We have to avoid pushing humiliation and aggression on others and go forward with the independence of Iraq and not respond to the occupiers.' "
Those words represent a radical reversal of Mr. Sadr's past position. They could also represent an effort by Mr. Sadr to become involved in the politics of the nation, rather than continue as a leader of a 10-week-old insurgent struggle.
[. . .]
Another Sadr aide said after the sermon that Mr. Sadr's change of position did not mean that he supported the occupation or American involvement in the new government, but rather that he hoped the new government would work for the interests of Iraqis. Mr. Sadr met last Saturday with Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, Iraq's most influential Shiite cleric, but it was unclear whether Ayatollah Sistani had persuaded Mr. Sadr to reverse his opposition to the new government.
At the same time that Mr. Sadr's faction appeared to soften its hard-line position, imams at several Sunni mosques in Baghdad delivered sermons beseeching former officers of the Iraqi Army to join the insurgency and drive out the American-led occupation forces.

From California Yankee .

In Command Post: Irak

Tip-Off Foils Pipeline Sabotage: "From the ABC :
US soldiers have foiled a new sabotage attempt against Iraq's key oil sector following three successful attacks earlier in the week, the US military says.
Local residents have alerted troops in the town of Qayyarah, between the main oil pipeline hub of Baiji and the northern capital of Mosul, to a bomb at a nearby refinery.
" Soldiers quickly discovered the device, which was connected to a timer, and notified the explosive ordnance disposal team who destroyed the device ," a spokesman said.
Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi warned yesterday that the country has lost more than $US200 million over the past seven months due to 130 separate attacks on its pipeline network.
He blames terrorists and foreign fighters for targeting the industry, which generates more than 90 per cent of Iraq's revenues.

In Command Post: Irak

Early Abu Ghraib Reports Went Unheeded: "At least five soldiers objected last fall to abuses they saw at the Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad. One demanded to be reassigned, saying the behavior he witnessed there "made me sick to my stomach." (AP)"

In Yahoo! News: War with Iraq

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