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[casi] News, 2-9/7/03 (1)

News, 2-9/7/03 (1)


*  Iraqi details harsh treatment as Amnesty criticizes U.S. interrogation
*  Coalition launches Operation Sidewinder
*  U.S. loses soldier in ambush that left 11 Iraqis dead
*  US puts $25m bounty on Saddam
*  Explosion rocks mosque, killing several Iraqis
*  International rights group calls on coalition to treat detainees justly
*  Franks to turn the reigns over to Abizaid next week
*  Iraqis unsure of US 'democratic' designs
*  British Journalist Killed In Baghdad
*  Bomb Kills 7 New Iraqi Policemen
*  List of Journalists Who Died in Iraq
*  Attacks Kill 3 U.S. Soldiers in Baghdad
*  Juan Cole's commentary for 3rd July
*  7 US Soldiers Wounded in Separate Attacks in Iraq


*  US puts $25m bounty on Saddam
*  Former Iraqi FM could be in Austria ‹ press     
*  UN envoy opens workshop justice in Iraq
*  Text of audiotape purported to be from Saddam Hussein
*   Former Iraqi UN, U.S. Ambassador Dies in New York
*  Iraqi Who Might Have Met With 9/11 Hijacker Is Captured
*  Questions Surround Another Hussein Tape
*  Crisis at Iraqi embassy in Beijing takes new twist


MSNBC, 30th June

BAGHDAD, Iraq, June 30 (AP): An Iraqi businessman detained during a raid on
his home says U.S. interrogators deprived him of sleep, forced him to kneel
naked and kept him bound hand

Khraisan al-Abally's story, told to an Associated Press correspondent, comes
as an Amnesty International report released Monday harshly criticizes
American interrogation techniques.

A U.S. Army officer confirmed receiving a complaint from al-Abally, but
coalition officials declined to discuss his account. The activist group
Human Rights Watch said it was trying to corroborate his story.

Seeking to quell a burgeoning uprising, U.S. soldiers have detained hundreds
of Iraqis ‹ some of whom have endured days of strenuous interrogations,
rights groups say. AP journalists have observed prisoners wearing only
underwear and blindfolds, handcuffed and lying in the dirt 24 hours after
their capture.

Interviewed June 20 and Monday, Al-Abally said U.S. troops stormed his home
April 30, shooting his brother and taking al-Abally and his 80-year-old
father into custody ‹ apparently believing they had information on the
whereabouts of a top official in Saddam Hussein's regime, Izzat Ibrahim

The three men were all low-level members of Saddam's Baath Party, but
al-Douri was not a family acquaintance, Al-Abally said.

The brother, Dureid, shot at the troops breaking in, apparently mistaking
them for looters, the family said. Al-Abally said he was told during his
interrogation at Baghdad International Airport that his brother had died.

Al-Abally, 39, said that while he was bound and blindfolded, he was kicked,
forced to stare at a strobe light and blasted with ''very loud rubbish

''I thought I was going to lose my mind,'' said al-Abally, a burly man whose
wrists are still scarred from plastic cuffs more than a month after his
release. ''They said, 'I want you on your knees.' After three or four days
it's very painful. My knees were bleeding and swollen.''

The U.S. military said it could not comment on the raid or its methods of
interrogation, saying only that its soldiers adhere to the rule of law.
Military and intelligence officials have said sleep deprivation, shackling
prisoners in uncomfortable positions and noise abuse are considered legal

''This is democracy?'' asked al-Abally, whose family operates a shipping
business in Lebanon. ''No Iraqi would have thought the Americans were
capable of this.''

The AP interviews with al-Abally were conducted mostly in English.

His interrogation came before a June 26 pledge by the Bush administration
that U.S. officials would not use cruel treatment to gain information from

Several human rights groups ‹ including London-based Amnesty International
and New York-based Human Rights Watch ‹ argue that current U.S.
interrogation methods violate the pledge.

''When you talk of up to eight days' sleep deprivation, especially with
hands and feet bound, that's already entering the realm of ill treatment,''
said Johanna Bjorken, a Human Rights Watch researcher in Iraq. ''When you
combine it with loud music, strobe lights and hooding, it's very possible
you've inflicted cruel treatment, which is a violation of the Geneva

She said her group is investigating al-Abally's allegations to see if the
interrogation techniques he described can be corroborated.

A U.S. Army officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said U.S.
interrogators routinely used strobe lights. Bjorken said a U.S. military
criminal investigator in Baghdad told her that loud music and sleep
deprivation were acceptable interrogation techniques.

Amnesty International's report said the U.S. military appeared to subject
Iraqi detainees to treatment that violates international law. The group said
it was investigating the U.S. military's three-week detention of an
11-year-old boy and an incident in which U.S. shooting during a riot by
detainees killed one and wounded seven.

A British spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition, Lt. Col. Peregrine Lewis,
denied the coalition violates human rights.

''Coalition soldiers are expected to scrupulously adhere to the rule of law
in the conduct of military operations,'' Lewis wrote in e-mail response to
AP questions. ''Anything which suggests otherwise is inaccurate.''

U.S. Army Maj. Toney Coleman of the 422nd Civil Affairs Battalion said he
took a written complaint in May from al-Abally about his treatment and his
brother's disappearance. Coleman said he has no knowledge of U.S.
interrogation techniques or whether al-Abally's allegations are accurate.

Coleman said he searched military computers for the whereabouts of
al-Abally's missing brother, Dureid, a 48-year-old retired diplomat.

''There's no record at all of that individual,'' Coleman said.

Amnesty International researchers in Baghdad said the techniques cited by
al-Abally were similar to those described by Palestinian detainees
interrogated by the Israeli military and Irish Catholic prisoners detained
by British forces.

''These are known techniques that there have been a lot of debate on for the
past 20 years, as to whether they constitute torture,'' said Elizabeth
Hodgkin, Amnesty's Baghdad-based research director.

Britain halted such procedures after a European court in 1982 found they
violated human rights law and Israel did so in 1999 when its supreme court
banned the practice except in extreme situations, Hodgkin said.

Amnesty's report accuses U.S. forces in Afghanistan of performing similar
''stress and duress'' interrogations on detainees, a pair of whom died in
U.S. custody. The deaths are being investigated as homicides.


RFE/RL IRAQ REPORT, Vol. 6, No. 29, 4 July 2003

U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) announced the launch of Operation Sidewinder
in a 29 June press release posted on the CENTCOM website
( The third major operation to be launched in June
after Operation Peninsula Strike on 9 June (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 11 June
2003) and Operation Desert Scorpion on 15 June (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 16
June 2003), Operation Sidewinder aims to root out "various subversive
elements attempting to undermine coalition efforts to restore basic
infrastructure and stability in Iraq," CENTCOM noted. According to the press
release, 23 raids were conducted on the first night of the operation,
resulting in the detention of 61 individuals and the confiscation of 14
AK-47 assault rifles, two shotguns, and ammunition. CENTCOM noted in a
second 29 June press release that the operation's focus is central Iraq,
"along an approximate stretch of the Tigris River from Samarra to Baghdad."
No coalition casualties have been reported in the operation. In a 1 July
update on Sidewinder activities, CENTCOM reported that 25 additional raids
had been conducted resulting in the detention of 25 individuals, "including
11 that were on the targeted list," as well as six AK-47 assault rifles, two
machine guns, five rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) launchers; one crate of
RPGs, three rocket-propelled grenade sights, and other ammunition.

A CENTCOM press release on 29 June also announced that Operation Desert
Scorpion, which ran from 15-29 June, has ended. The operation resulted in
the detention of 1,330 individuals and the confiscation of weapons including
497 AK-47s, 235 hand grenades, 124 RPGs, 22 machine guns, 130 pistols, and
100 rifles, as well as 8,122 rounds of ammunition. Some $9.463 million was
confiscated, as well as 1.557 billion Iraqi dinars, 1,071 bars of gold, and
52 vehicles. (Kathleen Ridolfo)

Houston Chronicle, 4th July

BALAD, Iraq (AP): U.S. troops killed 11 Iraqis who ambushed a convoy outside
Baghdad today, one of the heaviest clashes yet in the daily grind of attacks
on American forces, and a message purportedly from Saddam Hussein called for
stepped-up resistance to the U.S.-led occupation.

The ambush came hours after mortars hit a nearby base, wounding 18 U.S.
soldiers, and a sniper shot and killed an American soldier guarding the
Baghdad museum, the military said.


The ambush today came on a highway near Balad, 55 miles north of Baghdad,
when 11 men attacked a convoy with rocket-propelled grenades and small arms
fire, the military said.

Soldiers of the Army's 4th Infantry Division fired back, killing all the
men. None of the Americans was injured.

U.S. forces have frequently been ambushed on the roads of central Iraq --
usually by small groups of insurgents who fire small arms or grenades then

In another bold attack, four mortar rounds rocked a huge U.S. base near
Balad late Thursday, injuring 18 soldiers, said Maj. Edward Bryja, of the
Army's 3rd Corps Support Command. Flares and tracer bullets sliced across
the night sky after the blasts.

Two soldiers were seriously injured, with one undergoing surgery in a
hospital located on the base and another evacuated for treatment, Bryja
said. Others suffered cuts and small punctures from flying shrapnel, and
nine soldiers quickly went back to duty, Army officials said.

"This is the first time the base was attacked -- and the first time we've
seen mortars," said Sgt. Grant Calease, who said he and other soldiers would
nonetheless carry on with a July 4th steak barbecue.

The wounded soldiers belonged to Task Force Iron Horse, a 33,000-member unit
that has been conducting raids in mainly Sunni Muslim central Iraq -- the
latest sweep aimed at putting down insurgents.

Today, attackers detonated an explosive on a highway in Baghdad's western
outskirts, injuring three passengers in a civilian car and two U.S. soldiers
traveling in a Humvee convoy, according to an Associated Press photographer
on the scene.

Thursday evening, a sniper shot and killed a U.S. soldier manning the
gunner's hatch of a Bradley fighting vehicle outside the national museum,
Pruden said. His name was not immediately available.


Jordan Times, 4th July


In Ramadi, 100 kilometres west of Baghdad, a two-vehicle convoy was targeted
by what the US military described simply as "an explosive device," wounding
six soldiers. The seriousness of their injuries was not known.

Residents said that two people on a motorbike had fired a rocket-propelled
grenade (RPG) at a US military vehicle, in what seemed to be the same

In a separate shooting on the northern fringes of the capital in the early
hours, a US soldier and a six-year-old boy were wounded in a shootout
between US forces and a gunman who was with the boy. The gunman was shot

Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez said three US soldiers had been wounded
in the attack, which he said was carried out either with an RPG or an
improvised explosive device.

A US officer at the scene of the attack on Haifa Street said: "It seems now
that it was an RPG fired from a vehicle on the street."

"An innocent Iraqi citizen sitting on a street corner was also killed (by
the blast), according to reports we are hearing," Major Scott Patton added.

He did not comment on witness reports that US troops had opened fire on a
car, shooting dead the driver.

Witness Majid Saadi said he thought the presumed Iraqi driver of the car,
which he said had been riddled with bullets, was dead. But it was not clear
if the driver was suspected of involvement in the attack.

In the shooting incident in the Kadhimyah neighbourhood in the north of
Baghdad, US troops were conducting a routine night patrol when they came
under fire.

"An Iraqi man attacked the patrol, shooting one of the soldiers. The
soldiers returned fire in self-defence, killing the gunman and wounding a
boy, who was with the gunman," according to a military statement.

Both of the wounded were evacuated to a military field hospital and were in
a stable condition, it added.

In Baquba, 60 kilometres northeast of Baghdad, one Iraqi was killed when a
small bomb exploded during a protest to demand the release of local Shiite
Muslim leader Ali Abdul Karim Madani, being held by US forces, witnesses

US forces then opened fire in the their direction, wounding four, before
breaking up the protest with the help of Iraqi police and tank support, they

The attacks are the latest in a series of strikes on US troops in and around
the Iraqi capital in recent days which have prompted concern that US forces
in the country are overstretched.

US forces have suggested that the upsurge may be in reaction to a major
sweep they are carrying out north of Baghdad in the hunt for former regime
loyalists and Fedayeen militia fighters they blame for the attacks.

But Sanchez, one of the top commanders in Iraq, insisted: "We have
sufficient forces in here to accomplish the task that I see lying ahead ...
I don't need any more forces."

Faced with a rising death toll and apparently increasingly armed resistance,
Bremer was reported to have asked Washington for more troops to help secure
the chaotic country.

Citing unnamed administration officials, the Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper
said US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was reviewing the request.

Sanchez denied the report.


RFE/RL IRAQ REPORT, Vol. 6, No. 29, 4 July 2003

An explosion at a mosque in Al-Fallujah on 1 July left at least six Iraqis
dead and several wounded, according to international media reports.
Al-Jazeera claimed that a U.S. aircraft fired a missile on the Al-Hasan
Mosque, located east of Al-Fallujah, while an imam was lecturing to
students, leaving eight dead and six wounded. But a U.S. military spokesman
told Reuters that the military does not know the cause of the blast, which
he said came from an adjacent building. A U.S. rapid-response team "found
minimal damage to the mosque but significant damage to the building next to
the mosque," the spokesman said. Meanwhile, U.S. Central Command issued a
statement denying any involvement in the explosion. Yassin Hamed told
reporters at the local hospital that four bodies were pulled from the
rubble. "The bodies are still buried for now -- seven, 10 people, I don't
know," another unnamed witness told Reuters. The imam later died from his
injuries, Al-Jazeera reported on 1 July. (Kathleen Ridolfo)


RFE/RL IRAQ REPORT, Vol. 6, No. 29, 4 July 2003

On 30 June, international rights group Amnesty International called on the
U.S. to allow hundreds of Iraqis detained during Operation Iraqi Freedom
access to family members and legal counsel, and to expedite a judicial
review of their detention. The group also called on U.S. officials to
investigate allegations of ill treatment, torture, and death from prisoners
in custody. "The conditions of detention Iraqis are held under at the Camp
Cropper Center at Baghdad International Airport -- now a U.S. base -- and at
Abu Gharib Prison may amount to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or
punishment, banned by international law," an Amnesty press release stated.

Detainees have told Amnesty that they were subjected to cruel, inhuman, or
degrading treatment after their arrest, "being tightly bound with plastic
handcuffs and sometimes denied water and access to a toilet in the first
night of arrest. Delegates saw numerous ex detainees with wrists still
scarred by the cuffs a month later," Amnesty noted. One former detainee
said, "They did not interrogate us and they treated us like animals. In the
first week we were not allowed to wash and didn't have sufficient water." He
was transferred to Abu Gharib after 20 days of detention at the airport.

Amnesty reported that it addressed its concerns with Coalition Provisional
Authority (CPA) head L. Paul Bremer during a 26 June meeting and asked that
his office "publicly declare" what the CPA intends to do to adjust its
policies regarding detentions, arrests, and house searches, in order to
prevent the recurrence of incidents of abuse. According to Amnesty
International, U.S. military lawyers told Amnesty delegates that they
intended to improve the prisoners' conditions and would ensure that every
detainee had access to lawyers within 72 hours.

The U.S. lawyers admitted that they had failed to provide information as to
the detainees' whereabouts and said it had been logistically impossible to
do so until recently. "The first detainees brought to Camp Cropper at the
end of April 2003 were left under the burning heat of the sun, surrounded by
razor wire until tents were erected on the third day. The toilets were
unscreened holes in the ground. The daily water allocation of four liters
for drinking was insufficient. Washing was prohibited by guards until skin
diseases became widespread," Amnesty International stated. The press release
can be viewed in its entirety at (Kathleen Ridolfo)


RFE/RL IRAQ REPORT, Vol. 6, No. 29, 4 July 2003

The commander in chief of U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), U.S. General Tommy
Franks, will turn command over to Lieutenant General John P. Abizaid in a
ceremony in St. Petersburg, Florida on 7 July, CENTCOM announced in a 1 July
press release. CENTCOM is based at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida.
Franks, 57, had said that he would retire from military service at the end
of the summer. He has headed CENTCOM since July 2000. Abizaid assumed the
position of deputy commander (Forward) for Combined Forces Command, U.S.
Central Command, in January 2003, according to his biography on

General Abizaid is of Lebanese descent and is fluent in Arabic. He is a
graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. and holds
a Master of Arts degree in Area Studies (Middle East) from Harvard
University. Abizaid was commissioned into the Army in 1973 and has commanded
U.S. forces in Grenada, Iraqi Kurdistan (1991), and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
(Kathleen Ridolfo)

by Daniel Trotta
Dawn, from Reuters, 4th July

BAGHDAD: Out in Sadr City, a sprawling working-class district on the north
edge of Baghdad, the United States is conducting an experiment unlike any
other since the aftermath of World War Two : building a democracy abroad
from the ground up, by force of occupation.

The challenges are daunting.

Until the US invasion that toppled Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in April,
Sadr City was called Saddam City. Its population of nearly two million is a
microcosm of Iraq, an uneasy mix of Arabs and Kurds, Sunni and Shias. And
after centuries of rule by the Ottomans, decades by the British and then the
Baath Party and Saddam, Iraq knows little about democracy as the West would
have it.

It is here and places like it across Baghdad that P.J. Dermer is trying to
create the Baghdad city council.

A former lieutenant colonel in the US Army who has spent years in the Middle
East, Dermer is criss-crossing the capital to help Iraqis form neighbourhood
councils in order to choose representatives at the district level. From
there they will select representatives for the 35 member Baghdad city
council. Perhaps the start of democracy.

"This is what the big boss wants," Dermer said, the big boss being George W.
Bush. But is the United States up to the job?

"I am a bit nervous," Dermer said. "I understand the task at hand. It's not
just about Iraq, it's about the Middle East, the whole region. The Iranian
press has been here reporting on the process. I wonder if the students who
are demonstrating for democracy there have seen this."

Much has been made of how long it might take for Iraq to hold national
elections. But one little-known aspect of post-war Iraq is that informal
elections have been taking place throughout Baghdad.

Neighbourhood committees organized by the Americans have selected their
representatives, who now will stand for election at the district level. In
Sadr City, 41 representatives chosen at the district level will select seven
people among themselves to go to the Baghdad city council.

Barely one minute has passed since the sheikh said opening prayers at the
Sadr City meeting to discuss the elections and already a quarrel has

The sheikh tells the meeting that elections have been postponed, saying only
there is "not enough time for the process." What he does not say is that the
American needs more time to run background checks on the 41 people assembled
to make sure none have ties to the former regime.

A tall man near the front row leaps to his feet. "This is democracy! I must
give my opinion! No one person is going to decide. No one person is going to
shut us up," he shouts.

>From there the meeting erupts into chaos. The eruptions are repeated later
when the delegates pick apart the US requirement that Sadr City must select
at least one woman and at least two Kurds among its seven representatives.

Some Iraqis think they are ready for democracy without quotas for
minorities. The tall man in the front is heard again.

"In the current situation after the invasion, the enemies of the Iraqis want
to divide us between Arabs and non-Arabs. If that happens Iraq will be a sea
of blood. Iraq is one! Iraq is one!" The hall breaks into applause.

Dermer has seen it before. Days earlier at Baghdad University, a group of
Islamic militant students attempted to hijack the meeting, issuing a list of
demands including one that US soldiers stay off campus. Ten minutes of
shouting from all sides ensued.

Both in Sadr City and at the university, Dermer stepped back, let the Iraqis
express their views, then took control when he thought the moment was right.

"OK, here's how democracy works," he told the students. Attention suddenly
focused on the lone American authority in the room.

"Everybody will get a chance to speak. It's not one voice over others. It's
about every voice being heard. Look me in the eyes and tell me we can do
this peacefully. In democracy, its about choice. Do you want to go forward?"

There is quiet, nodding approval.

"We cannot rule with emotion," Dermer went on. "Ten minutes ago was purely
emotional. You must let the other side speak. Then, you shake hands and go

Afterward, feelings were mixed about what had just occurred.

Riyadh Aziz Hadi, dean of the college of political science, was impressed.
"This is the first time we can discuss issues freely. This is the first time
this has happened in such a democratic way," he said. But student Likaa
Abbas, a woman who provoked applause with penetrating questions about the US
occupation, was less credulous.

"What about their promises," she said later of the Americans. "They said
there would be a national government and we still have an international
government. We want to rebuild our country and build a democracy. Right now
we cannot achieve these aims because we are under occupation.

"They must fulfil at least one of their promises."

VOA News, 5th July

A British journalist has been shot dead in Baghdad, just hours after an
explosion killed seven recruits in a new U.S.-backed Iraqi police force. The
unidentified freelance journalist was shot outside the Iraqi National
Museum, where a U.S. soldier was shot dead earlier this week.

Reuters news agency says the journalist's body has been turned over to U.S.
forces, who are investigating the incident.

Increasing ambushes, sniper shootings and other attacks blamed on Saddam
Hussein loyalists have plagued U.S. soldiers. But until now there was no
sign of journalists being specifically targeted.

The death brings to 16 the number of journalists who have died in Iraq since
the start of the war on March 20.

Saturday's deadly explosion came as police recruits marched down a street in
the town of Ramadi after their graduation ceremony. Investigators are trying
to determine the cause of the blast, which also wounded up to 40 police

Reuters news agency says the local police chief is blaming supporters of
Saddam Hussein for the attack.

On Friday, Al-Jazeera broadcast an audiotape by a speaker claiming to be
Saddam, who threatened more attacks in coming days.

In another development, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan says the
U.S. military has freed some of the 11 Turkish soldiers U.S. forced detained
in northern Iraq. Turkish news reports say the Turkish special forces
soldiers were detained on suspicion they were planning an attack against a
regional, Iraqi-Kurd governor.

by Souad Mekhennet and Molly Moore
Washington Post, 6th July

RAMADI, Iraq, July 5 -- A bomb exploded on a sidewalk here today as the
first class of U.S.-trained Iraqi police recruits was marching from its
graduation ceremony to a police station, killing seven of the new policemen
and injuring at least 40 other people, according to U.S. and Iraqi
officials. It was the most lethal attack yet against Iraqis participating in
U.S. sponsored nation-building efforts.

After this morning's blast, which witnesses said was caused by a bomb
planted next to a lamppost, pools of blood, shreds of clothing and shoes
littered the street near the sand colored, single-story police station. As
victims jammed the corridors of the local hospital, officials issued
emergency appeals for blood donations over the loudspeakers of the city's
mosques, residents said.

"Those who refuse to embrace the new Iraq are clearly panicking," L. Paul
Bremer, the U.S. civilian administratorin Iraq, said at a news conference in
Baghdad. "They are turning their sights on Iraqis themselves. Today, they
have killed innocent Iraqis with the same disdain for their own citizens
they showed for 35 years."

U.S. and British soldiers have been the targets of increasing numbers of
shootings, ambushes and other assaults in recent days. Iraqi police
stations, where American troops are training new local police forces, have
also been attacked, along with Iraqi businesses that sell products or
services to U.S. forces or private contractors.

But today's explosion -- which was so loud that residents said it could be
heard throughout this dust-coated city 60 miles west of Baghdad -- was the
deadliest strike specifically targeting Iraqis cooperating with U.S.
efforts. The incident occurred as Iraqis began to express growing alarm over
the attacks' destabilizing effects on efforts to rebuild the country.

The fears and uncertainties of many Iraqis were exacerbated by the broadcast
of an audiotape with a voice purported to be that of the ousted Iraqi
president, Saddam Hussein, calling for greater resistance against the
occupying U.S.-led forces.

"This was planned against the Iraqi police because we are working together
with the U.S.," said a 25-year-old second lieutenant on the Ramadi police
force who would identify himself only by his first name, Marwan. "I think
the guys who did that were ordered by Saddam."

The police officer said he believed the attack was spurred by the release of
the audiotape Friday to the Arab television station al-Jazeera. The tape has
not been authenticated by independent sources.

Iraqis opposed to the presence of U.S. forces have become progressively more
violent in the Ramadi area, where a majority of residents, like Hussein, are
Sunni Muslims. The field headquarters of the U.S. Army's 3rd Armored Calvary
Regiment, in one of Hussein's palace compounds, has been hit with mortar
fire three times this week, according to Army officials.

No Americans were reported among the casualties, according to Capt. Michael
Calvert, a spokesman for the regiment.

"These were new recruits that had just finished joint training with us,"
Calvert told news services.

Local police officials said the recruits had recently finished nine days of
training. They said the U.S. forces had tripled police salaries here from
the roughly $40 a month paid when Hussein was president to $120.

"This is a message for all the people who worked together with the
Americans," said a 40 year-old man with a long beard and traditional white
robe who identified himself as Abu Omar. "I think other messages will

"This is a big problem for us," said a Ramadi police officer who declined to
be named. "It will not be easy to find new recruits now."

In the atmosphere of suspicion, fear and conspiracy theories the recent
attacks have engendered, many Ramadi residents said they believed the
Americans set off the explosion.

"The Americans did this bombing attack to make trouble between Iraqis," said
Majid Hamid Ali, 27, a taxi driver. "Normally the U.S. soldiers were with
these young guys. But this time, there were no American soldiers. So for us,
that's proof the Americans did it."

Police said they were interrogating several suspects whom they declined to
identify. A brief gunfight broke out when a man angered by the arrest of a
relative pulled a gun on police officers outside the station. He ran when
police returned fire, police said.


Las Vegas Sun, 6th July

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - News organization employees killed by violence since
the war on Iraq began on March 20.

- Richard Wilde, British freelance cameraman, July 5, outside Iraq's Natural
History Museum in Baghdad.

- Tareq Ayyoub, Jordanian journalist for Al-Jazeera, Qatar, April 8, at the
Al-Jazeera office in Baghdad.

- Jose Couso, cameraman for Spanish television network Telecinco. April 8,
at the Palestine hotel in Baghdad.

- Taras Protsyuk, a Ukrainian television cameraman for Reuters, April 8, at
the Palestine hotel in Baghdad.

- Christian Liebig, journalist for Focus weekly, Germany, April 7, south of

- Julio Anguita Parrado, reporter for El Mundo, Spain, April 7, south of

- Kamaran Abdurazaq Muhamed, a Kurdish translator working with the BBC,
April 6, northern Iraq.

- Michael Kelly, editor-at-large, The Atlantic Monthly, April 3, near

- Kaveh Golestan, Iranian freelance cameraman for the BBC, northern Iraq,
April 2.

- Terry Lloyd, correspondent for Independent Television News, Britain, March
22, southern Iraq.

- Paul Moran, freelance cameraman for the Australian Broadcasting
Corporation, March 22, northern Iraq.

In other deaths, disappearances:

- Two other Independent Television News journalists, cameraman Fred Nerac of
France and translator Hussein Osman of Lebanon, have been missing since the
shooting incident March 22 in southern Iraq in which Terry Lloyd was killed.

- Elizabeth Neuffer, a reporter for The Boston Globe, died May 8 after the
car in which she was a passenger apparently struck a guardrail near the town
of Samarra, about halfway between Baghdad and Tikrit. Neuffer's translator,
Waleed Khalifa Hassan Al-Dulami, also died in the accident.

- Veronica Cabrera, an Argentine freelance camerawoman, died April 15 of
injuries from a car crash outside the Iraqi capital, which instantly killed
Mario Podesta, an Argentine TV reporter, on April 14.

- Reporter David Bloom of NBC News died April 6 from an apparent blood clot
while covering the war south of Baghdad.

- Gaby Rado, a correspondent for Channel 4 News, Britain, died March 30
after apparently falling from a hotel roof in northern Iraq.‹on‹re‹mi‹ea/ir

by Jim Krane, Associated Press Writer
Yahoo, 7th July

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Two American soldiers were killed in separate attacks on
their convoys in the Iraqi capital, the military said Monday, and a third
U.S. soldier was fatally shot while waiting to buy a soft drink at Baghdad

Also, four U.S. soldiers were wounded after attackers fired a rocket
propelled grenade at their convoy in the restive town of Ramadi, 60 miles
west of Baghdad, late Sunday, the military said. One Iraqi suspect was
killed and another wounded in the attack.

The wave attacks come as U.S. troops on patrol and Iraqi police and
civilians perceived to be working with the occupying forces are being
targeted for daily assaults by insurgents.

The first soldier died in a firefight late Sunday after two armed assailants
opened fire on his convoy, said Sgt. Patrick Compton, a spokesman for the
military. The soldiers responded with fire, killing one of the attackers and
wounding the other. The wounded suspect was taken into custody.

In the second convoy attack in Baghdad, insurgents threw a homemade bomb at
a U.S. vehicle early Monday morning, killing a soldier. Both of the dead
American soldiers were from the Army's 1st Armored Division, the
Germany-based division which is charged with occupying Baghdad. They were in
different convoys.

In the third attack, an assailant shot and killed a U.S. soldier waiting to
buy a soft drink at Baghdad University at midday Sunday, firing once from
close range. The style was coldly similar to the killing of a young British
freelance cameraman, who was shot in the head outside a Baghdad museum on

The point-blank shooting of the unarmed reporter and a grenade attack on a
U.N. compound raised concern that Iraq's worsening insurgency ‹ until now
targeting only coalition troops and Iraqis accused of U.S. collaboration ‹
will spread to Westerners in general and those seen as cooperating with
occupation forces.



The US is bogged down in a low-intensity guerrilla war in Iraq, with daily
attacks that for the most part go unmentioned in the Western press,
including grenade, mortar and rocket propelled grenade assaults on
Anglo-American military and on Iraqi police personnel and facilities. So
reports Richard Sale, the intrepid terrorism correspondent of UPI. He says
that US proconsul in Iraq, L. Paul Bremer III, began asking for more troops
10 days ago, and that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld reviewed the
request. It seems unlikely to be granted. The US military is already
stretched thin in Iraq, and the army doesn't have much more to give.
Reservists are being kept out there, away from their jobs, already.

Sales writes, A former very senior CIA official commented: "There is a deep
foreboding spreading across (Washington) about Iraq. Bremer can't win
without another 100,000 troops, and he isn't going to get them. U.S. troops
on the ground are almost used up, and literally tens of thousands of active
duty and reservists are blocked from leaving the Army. We've got trouble,
and we're in Vietnam-era denial." But there is agreement on one matter.
Several administration officials and serving U.S. intelligence agents said
they believe the United States is now involved in a guerilla war in Iraq,
also despite the Defense Department's denials. "It's what I would call a
long-term, low-intensity conflict," an administration source said, adding:
"There is a high degree of concern at the White House."

The problem is acute. The US does not have the troops on the ground to
provide security, even to key facilities such as electrical plants. One of
Sales's interviewees thought Bremer needs another 100,000 troops to get the
job done. (I am suspicious of such assertions; it may just be that the job
is too big to get done at this scale at all). Bush and Rummy are afraid to
admit that they are now bogged down in a guerrilla war, castigating their
foes as "terrorists" and "Baath remnants." But there is evidence, Sale says,
in radio intercepts of coordination among groups, and all the groups are not
Baathists. The guys who blew themselves up in the al-Hasan Mosque in Falluja
during a bomb making class are more likely to be Iraqi Muslim Brotherhood
than Baath.

The basic problem for the real terrorists, i.e., al-Qaeda and its
sub-contractors, was that the US was an awfully difficult target. It has
limited exposure. The few loopholes that existed in its security, as with
the unforeseen tactic of hijacking a plane and using it for suicide
bombings, have largely been closed since September 11. But the Iraq War was
a godsend to Sunni radicals, since it placed 160,000 American troops right
in the middle of the Arab world, where they could be gotten at easily.
Al-Qaeda likes symbolic targets, and now it has thousands of them. Although
foreign al-Qaeda fighters may represent a small number of the insurgents
striking at US troops now, the danger is that as the occupation drags on,
there will be more of them, and more of the Sunni Arab Iraqis will give them
cover. The Bushies have Bin Laden exactly where he wants them.


by Challiss McDonough
Voice of America, 8th July

Three separate attacks in Iraq have wounded at least seven U.S. soldiers.
But the head of the coalition provisional authority does not believe the
ousted Iraqi leader is actually coordinating the attacks against U.S.


Two of them took place in Baghdad and involved explosives.

A military vehicle in the capital hit a landmine, wounding two soldiers.
Elsewhere in Baghdad, on the highway leading to the international airport,
someone dropped a homemade bomb from a bridge onto a military convoy,
injuring two soldiers.

U.S. troops are calling the airport highway RPG Alley because of the
frequent attacks using rocket-propelled grenades.

The third attack took place in the Kurdish-controlled northern city of
Kirkuk. Three soldiers were wounded when someone fired an RPG at their
patrol. They returned fire, but failed to injure or capture any of the

Until recently, there were not many attacks on coalition troops outside
central Iraq, in a rough triangle leading north and west from Baghdad. But
several attacks in the north and south in recent days indicate that pattern
may be changing.


Jordan Times, 4th July

BAGHDAD (AFP) ‹ The United States put up $25 million for information leading
to the arrest of Saddam Hussein on Thursday, as an upsurge in violence left
at least three Iraqis dead and 10 US soldiers wounded.

In a message broadcast to the Iraqi poeple, top civil administrator Paul
Bremer also offered a reward of $15 million for information leading to the
capture of Saddam's two fugitive sons, Uday and Qusay.

"I have certainly not forgotten Saddam Hussein and his sons, among the most
evil men the world has known," Bremer said in the message.

"They may or may not still be alive. Until we know for sure, their names
will continue to cast a shadow of fear over this country.

"If any of you has such information I encourage you to come forward," Bremer
said of the men whose fates have remained unknown since the fall of Baghdad
on April 9.


Jordan Times, 4th July

VIENNA (AFP) ‹ Former Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri, a staunch loyalist
of Saddam Hussein, is using an Austrian mobile phone and may even be hiding
in Austria, press reports said on Thursday.

According to the daily Standard the mobile phone is registered in the name
of a member of the Iraqi embassy in Vienna.

Rumours that Sabri, who has been on the run since the downfall of Saddam,
may have taken refuge in Austria have been circulating here for weeks.

Interior ministry spokesman Rudolph Gollia could not confirm the report.

"There is no indication that he is in Austria at this time, we have no
knowledge that he is staying here," Gollia said.

But he added that reports that Sabri was using an Austrian mobile phone had
meant the Austrian authorities were keeping a closer eye on rumours
surrounding his whereabouts.

The Austrian authorities were "cooperating within the general framework of
the fight against terrorism with the US embassy in Vienna," he said.

A US embassy official who did not wish to be named said that rumours
surrounding Sabri were purely speculation.

Sabri is a former Iraqi ambassador to Austria and has close ties with
extreme right-wing Austrian politician Joerg Haider.

Haider, for his part, said he had no clue as to Sabri's whereabouts, adding
that he had been in telephone contact with him several times after the
outbreak of the US-led invasion of Iraq but had heard nothing since.

"If I had his telephone number, I would call him," he said, adding that
Sabri was a "dominant personality" and that he was "always welcome in
Carinthia," the southern Austrian region of which he is governor.

Questioned in April Haider said he did not know where Sabri was, but that he
was sure he was not dead.

"He is in safety," the former leader of the extreme-right Freedom Party told
private radio Krone Hit, describing Sabri as a "personal friend."

"He has good connections the world over. We don't need to worry about him,"
he said.


RFE/RL IRAQ REPORT, Vol. 6, No. 29, 4 July 2003

UN Special Representative to Iraq Sergio Vieira de Mello opened a two-day
workshop in Baghdad on 30 June that brings together Iraqis, international
experts, and Coalition Provisional Authority officials to discuss a common
legal and judicial approach to dispensing justice to former members of the
deposed Hussein regime, UN News Center reported the same day
( "Thousands of men, women, and children from all
walks of life, religions, ethnic groups, political affiliations, classes,
and professions were often targeted simply because they disagreed -- or were
thought to disagree -- with those in power," Vieira de Mello told the
participants. "All communities suffered: No one was spared. The only
nondiscriminatory policy of Saddam was the systematic across the board
violation of human rights." He stressed the need for Iraqis to take the
initiative, telling participants, "I wish us to use this meeting as the
first opportunity where we can sit together and have the Iraqi people lead
us in our thinking on comprehensive approaches to address the terrible
injustices wrought upon the people of Iraq." (Kathleen Ridolfo)

Houston Chronicle, (from AP), 4th July

Text of remarks purportedly made by deposed Iraqi President Saddam Hussein
in an audiotape aired Friday by Qatar-based al-Jazeera television. The text
is translated from the Arabic by The Associated Press. There was no
immediate way to confirm the tape's authenticity, though reporters and
others who have often heard Saddam speak said it sounded like him.

"Oh great people, our great military, children of our great country, we are
now on June 14, 2003.

"People have been asking why they haven't heard the voice of Saddam Hussein.
We face a lot of trouble in getting our voice to you even though we have
been trying.

"I first say that I am still in Iraq and I miss you all, even though I am in
your midst, but you know how things are.

"I talk to you today and all the honorable Arabs across the world. I told
you before this last battle and during it that we would not fail you and
would not cause God to be angry at us.

"What happened has happened, we sacrificed what we sacrificed: our rule, but
not our principles.

"They wanted to occupy Iraq and impose on it what they wanted without a
fight in exchange for our keeping our seats of power under their colonialist
subservient control, so that we would become like others you know. The
invaders were disappointed and their actions were thwarted.

"Oh brothers and sisters, I give you the good news of telling you that jihad
cells and brigades have been formed.

"I am with some of my companions in Iraq and I salute them and you. I salute
those fighting and I salute their perseverance and courage, and I ask God to
give them patience and to make them a role model for all Iraqis.

"The casualty numbers that the Americans are announcing are false.

"We refused to hold onto power if that meant submitting to the American

"This act of theirs is just the beginning of their aim to control the whole

"They aim to destroy Iraq, and what they called the weapons of mass
destruction was nothing but a cover for their plans. You have seen how they
destroyed both the old and new civilizations of Iraq. All the science
centers, museums and schools. They questioned thousands of people, even
simple workers.

"I ask the invaders, where are these weapons of mass destruction?

"Make the mujahideen secure and catch any spies. We call on Iraqis that deal
with the Americans to stop doing so.

"I call upon you to protect these heroic fighters and not give the invaders
any information about them or their whereabouts during their operations. To
stop giving names or any true information about them. They are doing their
job in a satisfactory manner for God and nation. They accepted the call of
the leadership for jihad.

"There is resistance, and I know you are hearing about this. Not a day
passes without them (suffering) losses in our great land thanks to our great
mujahideen. The coming days will, God willing, be days of hardship and
trouble for the infidel invaders.

"We (the regime) fulfilled our obligations to you and sacrificed what we had
to, except our values, which are based on our deep faith and honor. We did
not stab our people or our nation in the back. No to surrender and no to
cooperation and we thank God for everything.";jsessionid=V32Y1IOEXLKFQCRBAELCFFA?

by Bernie Woodall
Reuters, 6th July

NEW YORK, July 6: Nizar Hamdoon, a former Iraqi ambassador to the United
Nations and the United States, has died in a New York hospital after a bout
with cancer, Arab diplomats reported on Sunday. He was 59 years old.

Hamdoon, who also served as deputy foreign minister under the ousted Saddam
Hussein government, traveled back and forth from Iraq over the past few
years for treatment at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and began
another round of chemotherapy in March. He had been in a coma for a week and
died late on Friday, the diplomats told Reuters.

As late as May, he told friends and journalists at a New York restaurant he
expected to return to his wife and two teen-age daughters in Baghdad within
weeks. But his condition deteriorated rapidly, having first been diagnosed
with Hodgkin's disease in 1987.

U.S. officials said Hamdoon's trips to the United States, even as the war
against his country was a given, were granted for humanitarian reasons.

Hamdoon served six years as Iraq's top envoy to the United Nations, ending
in early 1999. In 1984, he opened the first Iraqi Embassy in the United
States in 17 years, and by all accounts was extremely popular with the
administration of Ronald Reagan during Iraq's war with Iran. He then
returned to Iraq as deputy foreign minister before coming back to the United
States in his U.N. post.

Personable and soft-spoken, Hamdoon's tenure as U.N. ambassador ended with a
1998 bombing raid by the Clinton administration for his government's failure
to cooperate with U.N. weapons inspectors. He felt he had failed in his
mission -- to build better relations with the United States and to get
crippling sanctions lifted against his country.

"I am frustrated at the fact I tried to improve relations but this did not
work out," he said in an interview, adding that relations between his
country and the United States were at an all time low.

He often spoke of his admiration for the United States and regretted that
Iraq did not have access to the Internet, which he surfed on a daily basis.
He even burned his own CD with photos and articles written about him.

Hamdoon's family came from Mosul in the Kurdish-dominated region where his
father was an army officer under Iraq's last monarch, King Faisal II. He
went to an American Jesuit high school in Baghdad and studied architecture.

As a young man he joined the air force as well as Saddam Hussein's Baath
Party before entering the Foreign Ministry. Hamdoon is married his cousin
Sahar and has two teen-age daughters, Ula and Sama.

by Vernon Loeb and John Mintz
Washington Post, 9th July

The U.S. military has captured an Iraqi intelligence officer who may have
met in Prague with a key al Qaeda hijacker five months before the Sept. 11,
2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, U.S.
officials confirmed last night.

The military captured the intelligence officer, Ahmed Khalil Ibrahim Samir
al-Ani, last week in Iraq, the officials said. Czech authorities said in the
wake of the Sept. 11 attacks that al Ani had met in Prague with hijacker
Mohamed Atta in April 2001, but the FBI and the CIA later determined there
was no evidence that Atta left the United States and traveled to or from the
Czech Republic during the time he supposedly met with al-Ani.

Czech authorities, who initially told the Bush administration they believed
al-Ani and Atta had met to plot the bombing of the Prague offices of Radio
Free Europe and Radio Free Iraq, subsequently reported that they were no
longer certain of the meeting.

Still, al-Ani's capture and interrogation -- first reported last night by
CBS News -- could shed new light on whether there was a connection between
Iraq and al Qaeda, which is accused of carrying out the Sept. 11 attacks.
President Bush, in making his case for war against Iraq, cited both Iraq's
weapons of mass destruction and its alleged ties to terrorist groups,
including al Qaeda.

Richard Perle, a member of the Pentagon's Defense Policy Board who has
contended al Qaeda and Iraq are linked, said he is hopeful al-Ani's capture
will lead to a corroboration of his stance.

"If he chose to, he could confirm the meeting with Atta," Perle said. "It
would be nice to see that laid to rest. There's a lot he could tell us."

"Of course, a lot depends on who is doing the interrogating," said Perle,
adding he fears that if it were the CIA, it could skew the interrogation so
as to play down evidence that the alleged meeting with Atta occurred.

After poring over travel records, the agency said it could find no evidence
that the meeting occurred. Perle, a longtime agency critic, has said CIA
officials failed to give proper weight to the evidence that the pair met.

CIA spokesman Bill Harlow described Perle's charge as "absurd."

"His comments do a disservice to all the men and women of the CIA who every
day call it as they see it, not as some wish it to be," Harlow said.

One agency official, who asked not to be quoted by name, denied that the CIA
failed to give proper weight to evidence suggesting that Atta and al-Ani had

"We're open to the possibility that they met, but we need to be presented
with something more than Mr. Perle's suspicions," the official said. "Rather
than us being predisposed, it sounds like he is. He's just shopping around
for an interrogator who will cook the books to his liking."

It is likely that both military and CIA interrogators will have an
opportunity to question al Ani, government officials said. "He'll be
thoroughly interrogated by everybody at the end of the day," one official

Al-Ani will be of interest to U.S. interrogators for reasons beyond the
question of a meeting with Atta, said another official, who recalled the
Iraqi agent was suspected of carrying out a number of "nefarious" missions
for then-Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

Six weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks, Stanislav Gross, the Czech Republic's
interior minister, said publicly that al-Ani and Atta had met in Prague five
months earlier. Al-Ani was expelled by the Czech Republic shortly after the
alleged meeting for conduct incompatible with his diplomatic status.

Czech Prime Minister Milos Zeman then told Secretary of State Colin L.
Powell in November 2001 that during the meeting, Atta and al-Ani had
discussed attacking the headquarters of U.S.-funded Radio Free Europe, not
the Sept. 11 targets in New York and Washington.

Surveillance cameras at the Radio Free Europe building picked up al-Ani
surveying the site in April 2001, around the time of his supposed meeting
with Atta. A tape of al-Ani was provided to Czech intelligence shortly

After the Sept. 11 attacks, when pictures of Atta were widely published, a
Middle East informer told Czech intelligence that he had seen the hijacker
five months earlier meeting with al-Ani, providing a basis for the public
comments by Czech officials.

But in December, Czech President Vaclav Havel retreated from the earlier
Czech statements, saying there was only "a 70 percent" chance Atta met with
al-Ani. After months of further investigation, Czech officials determined
last year that they could no longer confirm that a meeting took place,
telling the Bush administration that al-Ani might have met with someone
other than Atta.

Washington Post, 8th July

CAIRO, Egypt - Two Arab television channels aired on Tuesday audiotapes said
to be by ousted Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

However, while both Al Hayat-LBC and Al-Jazeera channels said the tapes were
new, much of the content was identical to a tape received by the Sydney
Morning Herald in May. The Australian paper broadcast that tape on its Web

The voice on the Tuesday tapes, which sounded like Saddam to journalists
familiar with the fallen dictator, quoted him as delivering instructions for
resistance to the U.S. and British forces.

"I appeal to you, O Iraqis, Arabs, Kurds and Turkmen, Shia or Sunni,
Christians or Muslims, it is your duty to expel the aggressor invaders from
our country," the purported voice of Saddam said on the broadcast by
Lebanon's Al Hayat-LBC.

This quote was on the Sydney Morning Herald tape -- with identical wording
in Arabic.

"The return to underground operations that we started from the beginning is
the best way for Iraqis to achieve independence," the voice said on the
broadcast by Qatar's Al-Jazeera. The voice added he was speaking "from
inside glorious Iraq." These quotes were also on the Sydney Morning Herald

"Unify your ranks and act as one hand," the voice said on the Al Hayat-LBC
broadcast. "Boycott the occupying soldiers ... Act and do not let the
occupying forces settle down in your land."

"He who favors division over unity, and acts to divide ranks instead of
unifying them, is not only a servant of the foreign occupier but he is also
the enemy of God and the people," the voice said on the Al-Jazeera

"Go on, you Iraqis, as victory is near, God willing," the voice added on

It was not immediately clear if the tapes broadcast by Al-Jazeera and Al
Hayat-LBC were identical. One journalist who heard extracts from both
broadcasts said they appeared to be the same recording.

Al-Jazeera broadcast extracts from a tape on July 4 that CIA analysts said
was "most likely" the voice of Saddam, but they said the bad quality of the
tape prevented them from being certain.

Al-Jazeera editor-in-chief Ibrahim Hilal said the tape aired Tuesday was
received two days ago. "The tape doesn't carry any indication of when it was
recorded," Hilal said.

At Al Hayat-LBC in Beirut, an official said a staffer in its Baghdad office
found the Saddam tape in front of the door Tuesday morning. He played it and
found it was a message from Saddam, the official said speaking on condition
of anonymity.

The tape broadcast by Al Hayat-LBC was about 15 minutes long but the sound
quality was so poor that it was hard to distinguish what the speaker was

Jordan Times, 9th July     
BEIJING (Reuters) ‹ Fallout from the war in Iraq has taken a bizarre twist
in Beijing, with the ambassador locked in a tense standoff with his staff ‹
both sides armed ‹ and Chinese police standing ready to intervene, diplomats
said on Tuesday.

Diplomatic sources told Reuters last week that Ambassador MuwafakAl Ani was
resisting a recall order and had asked Chinese police for protection,
insisting embassy staff were armed and intimidating him.

But the embassy's number two, who has been in charge since June, said on
Tuesday Ani and his wife were the ones who were armed, refusing to vacate
the ambassador's residence and offices and menacing staff and their

"He's the ex-ambassador. He has been dismissed by the Iraqi foreign
ministry, but refused to leave," the minister told Reuters by telephone,
speaking in English.

Ani, who presented his credentials to the Chinese government in January,
ignored orders from the postwar Iraqi authorities to return home by
mid-June, other diplomats said.

"He asked police to come, portraying himself as the victim," said the
minister, who requested that his name be withheld.

The minister also denied carrying weapons, although other diplomats said
embassy staff had been seen with pistols.

"We've been unable to enter the embassy since June 7. He's armed and
unstable," the minister added.

Determining exactly what is unfolding behind the gates of the leafy
diplomatic compound in eastern Beijing is difficult. The ambassador could
not be reached for comment and the embassy switchboard is regularly engaged.

Ani, the minister and three other Iraqi diplomats and their families all
live in the embassy compound due to a shoe-string budget after years of
economic sanctions on Iraq.

Security in and around the embassy has been stepped-up in recent days with
policemen standing guard and a police van parked outside.

Ani is able to go out and buy groceries, the minister said, but added that
other staff were reluctant to enter the embassy offices or the ambassador's
residence for fear of sparking a showdown.

The embassy number two said he had informed the Chinese foreign ministry,
which declined immediate comment on the crisis.

China, a permanent member of the UN Security Council which opposed the
US-led war on Iraq, has said nothing publicly so far about the crisis.

Analysts said there were at least three options: Beijing could expel Ani or
grant him political asylum, or he could voluntarily leave. But Ani would
need to find a country willing to take him in.

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