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News, 6-13/8/03 (2) FREE ENTERPRISE * Looted and for sale in Iraq: the deadly core of nuclear weapons * Israeli firm wins public telephone contract in Iraq * Kidnap Gangs Add to Iraqis' Insecurity * Iraqi Central Bank head requests transfer of frozen funds * Gold bars turn out to be copper * President appoints Greenwich man to Iraq position * UK forces seize ship smuggling Iraqi oil THE PRICE OF FREEDOM * Kurdistan Islamic Movement threatens U.S. forces after leader arrested * Tribal leader reportedly assassinated in Mosul * Abu Ghurayb Prison gets face lift and new name * 11 killed in Baghdad bomb blast * New, improved and more lethal: son of napalm * One Iraqi killed, two US soldiers injured in Baghdad * US troops kill six Iraqis * Ex-Gurkha killed in ambush as more riots flare in Basra * US detains Shiite cleric in flashpoint Iraqi town * 'Human shield' faces $10,000 fine * U.S. Soldier Dies in Bomb Attack West of Baghdad * Rough Justice FREE ENTERPRISE www.sundayherald.com * LOOTED AND FOR SALE IN IRAQ: THE DEADLY CORE OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS by David Pratt, Foreign Editor, and Felicity Arbuthnot Sunday Herald, 3rd August PURE uranium oxide which could be used in the making of a dirty nuclear bomb capable of killing countless people is being offered for sale in a Basra souk for $250,000. Senior American officials have confirmed that rampant looting was discovered by US marines arriving at the al-Tuwaitha nuclear site on April 7. Melissa Fleming, a spokeswoman for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna, says: As many as 400 potentially lethal radioactive sources are still missing from the inventory at al-Tuwaitha. The Sunday Herald source, who cannot be named for fear of reprisals, was approached by black marketeers in Basra and asked if he would help sell the material. He said: The cylinders are about a foot long, grey in colour with a red band around the top. The skull and crossbones warning logo, and the label pure uranium oxide are clearly marked in English. He added that it is thought to have come from the al-Tuwaitha complex, which is 15 miles southeast of Baghdad. John Large, a leading independent nuclear consultant, said the size and description of the cylinders suggests this is enriched uranium. He added: A well-informed terrorist might be able to construct a crude nuclear device which would act like a mini-nuclear reactor and generate highly radioactive fission products for release into the urban atmosphere. Even if the uranium was not enriched, he says any radio active material is dangerous in the hands of terrorists because of its psychological impact. The public perception of all things nuclear is of a fate worse than death. The use of even low-level uranium in a dirty bomb would cause widespread psychological and economic panic. US Army officials who checked the al-Tuwaitha site soon after the marines arrived encountered high radiation levels in the storage building and withdrew. For three weeks prior to this, hundreds of villagers who live in the shadow of the barbed wire fences that surround the labyrinth of the nuclear plant had been bathing in and drinking water laced with radioactive contaminants from barrels they had stolen, emptied and used as containers. The barrels, experts say, had held uranium ores, low- enriched uranium yellowcake, nuclear sludge and other by-products. Some villagers have since contracted symptoms attributed to radiation contamination. Ever since, atomic agency officials have pressed for access to the site, but American officials have resisted. They say that the mandate of the agency in Iraq has expired and that allied forces are in charge, said Melissa Fleming. The uncertainty surrounding the case underlines a worrying new trend, as a spate of incidents from Nigeria to the former Soviet Union and Latin America suggests radioactive materials needed to build dirty bombs could emerge almost anywhere. http://menareport.com/story/TheNews.php3?action=story&sid=255621&lang=e&dir= mena * ISRAELI FIRM WINS PUBLIC TELEPHONE CONTRACT IN IRAQ MENA (Jordan), 4th August Iridium Satellite Israel is supplying Iraq with public telephones worth four to five million dollars. The global satellite voice and data communication provider was authorized last month by the office of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) to sell its mobile satellite communications services, subscriber terminals, and related equipment in Iraq. According to CEO of Iridium Satellite Israel Ami Schneider, the order was placed by a Jordanian company, reported Globes. The company also plans to market several thousands of mobile telephones in Iraq. Israel's Minister of Finance Benjamin Netanyahu signed a general permit late last month authorizing trade with Iraq. The new agreement normalizes commercial and financial ties between the two countries, marking the Jewish state's recognition of Iraq as a hostile-free nation. Israeli companies can now trade and invest in Iraq without facing any sanctions from the government. A group of Israeli industrial representatives reportedly made a trip to Baghdad this past June in order to scope out business opportunities related to the reconstruction effort. Iridium Satellite Israel is a subsidiary of the privately held corporation Iridium Satellite. The company acquired the assets of the Iridium company in December of 2000. It is a provider of global satellite voice and data solutions with complete coverage of the earth. Through a constellation of 66 low-earth orbiting (LEO) satellites operated by the Boeing Company, Iridium delivers communication services to and from remote areas where no other form of communication is available. Iridium currently provides service to the US Department of Defense under a multi-year contract. Iridium Satellite Israel is owned by Iridium Satellite Solutions' regional operators in Turkey, Greece, Cyprus, Eastern Europe, and East Africa, and a group of investors headed by Schneider. ‹ (menareport.com) http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-kidnap6aug06002431,1,377 4718.story?coll=la-headlines-world-manual * KIDNAP GANGS ADD TO IRAQIS' INSECURITY by Robyn Dixon, Times Staff Writer Los Angeles Times, 6th August BAGHDAD ‹ Stolen from his Baghdad street two weeks ago while playing with friends, Peter Yakob, a mute child of 6, couldn't tell the gang of Iraqi kidnappers his phone number. For two days, the kidnappers tried to get it from him while the boy's family waited frantically for a message from the criminals. On the third day, Peter's parents chalked their phone number on an exterior wall of their home. Within 30 minutes, a call came demanding what to them was an unimaginable amount: $50,000. "When we said we couldn't pay, they said: 'That's your problem. Either pay the money or we'll send him home to you in a sack,' " said Peter's mother, Makdonya Yusuf, 47. After desperate bargaining, the family paid a $15,000 ransom. In the security vacuum that followed the fall of the Saddam Hussein regime, looting came first, followed by carjackings. Now the appearance of highly organized kidnapping gangs sends a worrying message to U.S.-led occupation authorities, suggesting a level of criminal planning and commitment well beyond the spasm of thievery that followed the regime's fall. The kidnappings have a dark, ruthless quality, often targeting children and teenagers, usually from Iraq's tiny Christian community where no tribal networks exist to fight back against the gangs. In many cases, the only sons of large middle-income or wealthy families are seized. The abductions, which are often committed in broad daylight, add to Iraqis' sense that nowhere is safe, day or night. Bernard Kerik, the former New York City police commissioner who is overseeing Iraq's police force, held a briefing Tuesday to announce that a gang of nine kidnappers had been caught Monday in central Baghdad and that several hostages were freed. He did not mention that the kidnappers killed a female hostage during the operation, carried out by Iraqi police. That fact emerged during questioning of Iraqi officers near the end of the briefing. Kerik said the police conducted the operation without U.S. help, attacking a house at dawn and triggering a gun battle. One suspect was wounded. Because the Iraqi police force doesn't keep crime statistics, it's difficult to establish exactly how many kidnappings are occurring, but members of the Christian community listed many cases and Kerik said three other gangs had been arrested in recent weeks. Police uniforms were found at the home of those arrested Monday, Kerik said, suggesting that the kidnappers posed as police. He urged Iraqis to report abductions. But several families of kidnapping victims, interviewed by The Times in Baghdad, said they had approached police or the U.S. military for help but got little or no assistance. Instead, they paid ransoms ranging from $15,000 to $75,000 for the release of loved ones. [.....] Emanuel Lirato is a patriarch with a motorcycle business he started 55 years ago. His son Maher, 50, an epileptic, was kidnapped July 20 when a car with heavily armed bandits cut him off as he reached the family business by car. [.....] Lirato blamed coalition authorities for the frequent kidnappings, saying they had dismantled the old security structures without putting something in their place. "They abolished the army, the security forces and the police," he said. "So they gave the bad guys a chance to make the best of this chaos and lack of security. They made it easy for them to commit their crimes. "I think the gang will come again and maybe this time they'll take me, not my son," he said. "If things get worse, I'll have to leave Iraq." Adib Yunan, Peter's uncle, said Hussein's release of prisoners before the war planted the seeds of the crime spree. "This is the aftermath of two or three wars," he said. "There are so many men who have no job, so they resort to the simplest way to get money." [.....] RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY, PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC * IRAQI CENTRAL BANK HEAD REQUESTS TRANSFER OF FROZEN FUNDS RFE/RL IRAQ REPORT, Vol. 6, No. 34, 7 August 2003 Iraqi Central Bank acting Governor Faleh Dawud Salman asked UN members on 4 August to release all frozen assets of the former Iraqi government held in their states to a development fund set up at the New York Federal Reserve, Reuters reported the same day. The UN authorized the establishment of the development fund in Security Council Resolution 1483. Under that resolution, the fund was to be established at the Iraqi Central Bank and monitored by an international advisory board. A U.S. official told Reuters that the New York Federal Reserve bank account was an interim agreement. In a letter to the Security Council, Salman wrote, "I respectfully ask that you urge all member states to transfer Iraqi assets in their jurisdictions to this account without delay," Reuters reported. (Kathleen Ridolfo) RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY, PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC * GOLD BARS TURN OUT TO BE COPPER RFE/RL IRAQ REPORT, Vol. 6, No. 34, 7 August 2003 Gold-colored bars confiscated by coalition forces during raids in Iraq have proven to be copper, according to a White House report cited by Reuters on 1 August. The bars reportedly came from truckloads of gold-colored bars confiscated by coalition forces in May. According to Reuters, one truckload carried an estimated value of $500 million, while another was valued at $100 million -- the driver of that truck had told coalition forces at the time of the confiscation that he was transporting copper. The discovery was revealed in a White House report to Congress outlining U.S. reconstruction efforts in Iraq that said some 1,100 gold-covered bars were tested in Kuwait. "Analysis of the initial sampling of ingots revealed they were comprised of approximately 64 percent copper and 34 percent zinc. Consultation with metallurgists indicates the bars analyzed to date are most likely melted-down shell casings," the report indicated. The White House also reported that $800 million in currency has been found in Iraq. More than $7 million has not been authenticated, according to the report, because the notes were wet and damaged. In addition to the above-mentioned bars, some 1,071 bars were seized in coalition raids under the code name Operation Desert Scorpion, which ran from 15-29 June (see "RFE/RL Iraq Report," 4 July 2003). (Kathleen Ridolfo) http://www.boston.com/dailynews/219/region/President_appoints_Greenwich_m:.s html * PRESIDENT APPOINTS GREENWICH MAN TO IRAQ POSITION Boston Globe, 8th August GREENWICH, Conn. (AP) A Greenwich resident will serve as director of private sector development in Iraq, in an appointment by President Bush. Thomas Foley, 51, who said he befriended Bush in 1974 when they both attended Harvard, will report directly to the top U.S. administrator in Iraq, Paul Bremer, the Greenwich Time reported. Foley is chairman and founder of the NTC Group, a private equity investment company. He was chairman of Bush's Connecticut campaign finance committee in 2000, after raising more than $100,000 for his college friend. Foley plans to leave for Iraq early next week and stay in Baghdad for nine months. He was appointed to the post last week during a visit with the president in Washington. He will be in charge of 200 state-owned enterprises, including mining, chemical, cement and tobacco companies. Oil production and two state-owned banks are the only industries that will not be under his supervision, he said. Second, over the next six months, he will draft a privatization plan for the state-owned businesses. Finally, he will manage all trade and foreign investments into Iraq. ''Basically, I need to help get Iraq's economy going in the right direction,'' Foley said. Before he leaves for Iraq, Foley must receive top secret clearance from the CIA. http://menareport.com/story/TheNews.php3?sid=256012&lang=e&dir=mena * UK FORCES SEIZE SHIP SMUGGLING IRAQI OIL MENA (Jordan), 8th August The British Navy intercepted a ship smuggling 1,100 tons of oil from Iraq Friday. Royal Marine commandos boarded the vessel in the Northern Arabian Gulf and arrested its captain and crew. It is not clear who owns the vessel or where it was headed. The ship, called Navstar 1, was registered in Panama and had a Ukrainian crew. The vessel will be hauled to Iraq's southern port of Umm Qasr in the next few days, where the crew will be handed over to the Iraqi police for questioning, reported Reuters. "This is the most significant seizure we have had since the end of the war," said Royal Navy Lieutenant Commander Richard Walter. US and British forces in Iraq have been trying to crack down on widespread smuggling of oil since they overthrew Saddam Hussein four months ago. Up to three-billion-dollars worth of illegal oil exports crossed the Gulf seas in 2002, making their way from the besieged Iraq to black markets in neighboring states. Members of Saddam Hussein's regime landed the spoils from these unregulated oil sales, with profit rates estimated at around $100 per ton. THE PRICE OF FREEDOM RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY, PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC * KURDISTAN ISLAMIC MOVEMENT THREATENS U.S. FORCES AFTER LEADER ARRESTED RFE/RL IRAQ REPORT, Vol. 6, No. 34, 7 August 2003 The Islamic Movement of Iraqi Kurdistan has threatened to take action against U.S. forces after the weekend arrest of their leader, Shaykh Ali Abd al-Aziz in Halabjah. The movement's foreign relations representative, Ihsan Abd al-Aziz, told Al-Jazeera in a 3 August interview that he held the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) responsible for the safety of the shaykh and his escorts. "We, the Islamic Movement, have thousands of youths...[in] Al-Fallujah, Samarra, and all [of] Iraqi Kurdistan," Abd al-Aziz said, adding, "If this issue is not resolved peacefully and an apology is not made to Shaykh Ali, the Islamic Movement, and all Muslims in Iraq, then we in the Islamic Movement will use another way of dealing with [U.S. forces]." He said that the PUK, and its leader, Jalal Talabani, would also be held responsible, since they are in charge of security in the Al-Sulaymaniyah Governorate, and because "some of [Talabani's] forces guided these U.S. forces into the city of Halabjah." If the situation remains unresolved, he threatened, "The crisis will continue and escalate in the Sunni areas from Al Fallujah to Al-Ramadi and all Kurdistan." There is no word from U.S. forces as to why the shaykh was arrested. Meanwhile, the Higher Council for the Liberation of Iraq issued a demand for the immediate release of Abu Jihad al-Nawawi, the deputy leader of the council, who was arrested by U.S. forces last week, Al-Jazeera reported on 2 August. The group held a demonstration outside Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) headquarters in Baghdad to protest the arrest, and issued a statement threatening to escalate "the situation against the coalition forces," according to Al-Jazeera. The statement also claimed that al-Nawawi was subjected to inhuman and illegal methods during interrogation. (Kathleen Ridolfo) RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY, PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC * TRIBAL LEADER REPORTEDLY ASSASSINATED IN MOSUL RFE/RL IRAQ REPORT, Vol. 6, No. 34, 7 August 2003 A tribal leader from one of Iraq's largest tribes, the Shammar, was reportedly assassinated in Mosul, Voice of Mujahedin radio reported on 3 August. Shaykh Sha'lan Munif al-Faysal, also known as Sha'lan al-Jarbah, was killed when assailants opened fire on the car he was traveling in. The shaykh reportedly exchanged fire with his attackers, killing one. He was killed along with his driver. According to the radio report, there are conflicting explanations for his killing. Some Iraqis speculated that the assassination was a crime, while others linked him to the unidentified informant who provided U.S. forces with the location of Uday and Qusay Hussein. (Kathleen Ridolfo) RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY, PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC * ABU GHURAYB PRISON GETS FACE LIFT AND NEW NAME RFE/RL IRAQ REPORT, Vol. 6, No. 34, 7 August 2003 The Abu Ghurayb Prison has been renovated and renamed by the U.S.-led administration in Iraq, Reuters reported on 4 August. The prison, located approximately 32 kilometers west of Baghdad, was notorious under the Hussein regime for the torture and execution of its prisoners. According to Reuters, between 20,000 and 40,000 prisoners were housed at the facility, which has been renamed the Baghdad Central Penitentiary by the coalition authority. It reopened on 4 August. "We've had to start from scratch, with the prisons completely unserviceable and all the prisoners on the run," Brigadier General Janis Karpinski, who is in charge of Iraq's prisons, told reporters during a tour of the facility. The prison currently houses 500 prisoners, 400 of them common criminals, the news agency reported. They are reportedly kept outside in razor-wire pens under 50 degree Celsius (122 Fahrenheit) heat, awaiting a court date. According to globalsecurity.org, the prison facility "occupies 280 acres with over 4 kilometers of security perimeter and 24 guard towers. The prison is composed of five distinct compounds each surrounded by guard towers and high wall." The website noted that satellite imagery suggested new construction at the site in mid-November. "Four new prison compounds appear to be in the early stages of construction. The foundation and footings are either being dug or concrete has been poured." The website also noted widespread reports of mass graves either within the perimeter or near the prison, "but this is not apparent from imagery alone." It is unclear how much of the facility was damaged during Operation Iraqi Freedom. According to Reuters, prisoners chanted "Freedom, freedom" at U.S. soldiers as reporters toured the facility. A U.S. soldier has reportedly written "Death Row" under an Arabic sign in one part of the prison, the news agency reported. The penal code used by the U.S. in Iraq does not allow for the death penalty. (Kathleen Ridolfo) http://jang.com.pk/thenews/aug2003-daily/08-08-2003/main/main4.htm * 11 KILLED IN BAGHDAD BOMB BLAST News International, 8th August BAGHDAD: A car-bomb exploded outside the Jordanian Embassy here on Thursday, sending a car hurtling onto a rooftop, killing at least 11 people and suggesting that Iraq's violence could be shifting from a resistance to the American occupation toward a terrorist insurgency. Witnesses outside the walled embassy compound in western Baghdad said the bomb was placed in a parked minibus or sports utility vehicle and detonated remotely. Only the chassis was left. A mangled vehicle lay atop a nearby building. At least 11 victims, including two small children, were taken to Baghdad's morgue. A wounded policeman said at least four fellow officers were killed. Doctors said more than 50 people were wounded, including six Jordanians. "What this shows is that in fact we have some terrorists that are operating here," Sanchez said and added "It shows we are still in a conflict zone." The attack on the embassy was a new kind of violence in Iraq, where guerrillas have been targeting occupying American troops with bombs, grenades and Kalashnikovs. Officials in Amman, the Jordanian capital, said evidence from the scene of the attack suggested that the explosion was an "orchestrated terrorist attack" against Jordan with political motivations. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity. Shortly after the blast, young Iraqi men stormed the embassy, chanting anti-Jordanian slogans and destroying photographs of Jordanian King Abdullah II and his late father, King Hussein. American forces and Iraqi police dispersed them. Hours after the embassy attack, a fierce gun-battle broke out on a Baghdad street where US soldiers are often seen shopping. The street, called Outer Karada Street, is one of Baghdad's most crowded, with about three kilometers of shops selling everything from electronics to shoes. The attack began with an explosion near an American Humvee parked in the median strip that turned the vehicle into a charred skeleton. Shots came from a nearby office building, and soldiers returned fire into the two-storey structure. Within minutes at least 20 Humvees and eight Bradley fighting vehicles joined the fight, launching rounds from heavy machine guns that set the building ablaze. Three helicopters hovered overhead. The Americans stormed the building after letting about 20 people flee with their hands in the air. They emerged five minutes later without any detainees. Spec. Nicole Thompson of V Corps, the Army unit controlling Baghdad, said two Americans were injured. Two soldiers were killed in another Baghdad firefight on Wednesday night, the US Central Command announced on Thursday without elaborating. Sanchez said coalition forces would have to remain in Iraq for years to allow Iraq to develop a new army of at least three motorised divisions for defensive purposes. He said American forces had begun to avoid blind sweeps that could alienate Iraqis and to focus on specific targets. The US 4th Infantry Division, operating north of Baghdad in the area where Saddam is believed to be hiding, conducted 24 raids, arresting 49 people and killing two in the 24-hour period ending on Thursday morning, according to Maj- Gen Ray Odierno. Four of the detainees were "targeted individuals," he said. Lt-Col Steve Russell said one of the men organised cells and paid armed fighters for attacks on the US forces. Two others, both former Iraqi generals, organised guerrilla attacks nationwide, and the fourth was a Fedayeen militia ringleader. Russell declined to name any of them, but said one of the leaders was known as "The Rock." At one of the raids, Apache attack helicopters circled as about 100 soldiers backed by four battle tanks surrounded a hotel. The troops led out 39 men, questioned them, and released all except one but not without a warning. "If you fight against your government," Russell told the freed men, "we will hunt you down and kill you." http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/08/08/1060145828249.html * NEW, IMPROVED AND MORE LETHAL: SON OF NAPALM by Ben Cubby Sydney Morning Herald, 8th August The Pentagon no longer officially uses the brand-name 'Napalm', but a similar sticky, inflammable substance known as 'fuel-gel mixture', contained in weapons called Mark-77 fire bombs, was dropped on Iraqi troops near the Iraq-Kuwait border at the start of the war. "I can confirm that Mark-77 fire bombs were used in that general area," Colonel Mike Daily of the US Marine Corps said. Colonel Daily said that US stocks of Vietnam-era napalm had been phased out, but that the fuel-gel mixture in the Mark-77s had "similar destructive characteristics." "Many folks (out of habit) refer to the Mark-77 as 'napalm' because its effect upon the target is remarkably similar," he said. On March 22nd, correspondent Lindsay Murdoch, who was travelling with the US Marines, had reported that napalm was used in an attack on Iraqi troops at Safwan Hill, near the Kuwait border. Murdoch's account was based on statements by two US Marine Corps officers on the ground. Lieutenant-Commander Jeff A. Davis, USN, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Defense (Public Affairs) had called Murdoch's story "patently false". "The US took napalm out of service in the 1970's. We completed the destruction of our last batch of napalm on April 4, 2001, and no longer maintain any stocks of napalm," Commander Davis told smh online. He was apparently referring to Vietnam-era Napalm-B, which consisted of inflammable fuel thickened with polystyrene and benzene. The inflammable fuel in Mark-77 fire bombs is thickened with slightly different chemicals, and is believed to contain oxidizers, which make it harder to extinguish than Napalm-B. Neither weapon technically contains napalm. The chemical mixture that became known as 'napalm' - a combination of naphthalene and palmitate - was used only in the earliest versions of the weapon. Napalm was banned by United Nations convention in 1980, but the US never signed the agreement. Use of Mark-77 fire bombs is considered legal by the US military. Ms. Toni McNeal, a spokesperson for Rock Island Arsenal, in Illinois, said the facility is currently producing a further 500 Mark-77s for the US Marine Corps. She said she did not consider the Mark-77s to be napalm bombs. But Mark-77s are referred to as 'napalm' in some current US inventories and public affairs documents. A US Navy public affairs document dated 22/10/99 says that the US Navy no longer uses napalm but "the US Marine Corps has a requirement and uses it at ranges at Yuma and Twenty-Nine Palms." Twenty-Nine Palms, in California, is the home base of some of the Marine Corps units that took part in the attack on Safwan Hill in Iraq. Captain Robert Crum, USMC, Public Affairs spokesman for Twenty-Nine Palms, said: "Mk 77s are not routinely used in training at 29 Palms. Yet it would be inappropriate to say that they are never - or never would be - used in training here. "The average young Marine may be unfamiliar with the technical nomenclature, and probably does refer to this munition by the vernacular 'napalm'." Napalm was banned by a United Nations convention in 1980, but the US never signed the agreement. The US military considers the use of Mark-77 weapons to be legal. http://www.jordantimes.com/Fri/news/news3.htm * ONE IRAQI KILLED, TWO US SOLDIERS INJURED IN BAGHDAD Jordan Times, 8th August BAGHDAD (AFP) ‹ Two US soldiers were wounded in a bomb blast on a main Baghdad shopping avenue Thursday, sparking a furious street battle between the coalition and guerrilla fighters that left one Iraqi dead. The attack in the heart of the city where US soldiers regularly buy appliances, and the blistering shootout that ensued, marked a clear escalation in the low-level war between the Americans and loyalists of ousted President Saddam Hussein. Generally, the shadowy fighters, who have killed 55 American soldiers since major combat operations were declared over May 1, detonate their bombs or fire their rocket-propelled grenades and run, but on Thursday, they stayed and sprayed fire on US troops. Two soldiers from the First Armoured Division had just climbed back into their all-terrain Humvee, parked on a divider in the middle of Karada street when a bomb exploded at 2:00pm (1000 GMT), leaving their vehicle in flames, said Major John Frisbie and witnesses. Earlier, a military officer from the men's company said three had been wounded in the blast. Within five minutes, US soldiers on the street came under fire from the top floors of a three storey building where the men had been shopping, and the two sides traded fire, Frisbie said. One Iraqi bystander was mowed down on the street, an AFP correspondent reported. The soldiers had fired in the man's direction, after hearing a shot, witnesses said. People stood over the body screaming, blood forming a puddle behind his head, while the dying man rolled his eyes and his Adam's apple bobbed. A US soldier said they suspected the man may have been one of the assailants and the crowd confiscated his gun ‹ which the military says is a trend in the vicious insurgency pitting Saddam loyalists against US soldiers. A gunbattle then raged intermittently, the crackle of Kalashnikovs trading with booming US guns. The exchange prevented a US military helicopter buzzing overhead from landing and picking up wounded. A local grocer said he heard an explosion and ran out of his shop to see a Humvee in flames. Afterwards, he said he saw people carrying a US soldier who had lost his legs in an explosion. People caught in the crossfire were seen hiding behind white refrigerators and other appliances put out for sale on the avenue's bustling sidewalk. The three-storey building, where the gunmen holed up, caught fire during the fighting, and a US soldier was seen escorting men and children away from the structure as smoke billowed out. The army started to spray jets of water on the flaming yellow-brick building. Shortly afterwards, several additional military vehicles rumbled down the street, including Bradley fighting vehicles and hard-back Humvees to provide support to the 10-vehicle force already engaged in the firefight. A combat helicopter sliced through the sky. At 3:00pm (1100 GMT), the army apprehended two suspected fighters from the building, Frisbie said. He added an improvised explosive device had been found in the very same city block one week before. "You're standing in a war zone," he said, surveying the bullet-pocked and charred three storey building that had been home to electronics and television shops, as well as a men's hair salon, before Thursday's blast. The explosion had gutted life on the street, leaving an outdoor falafel vendor wounded in the leg. His cart was blackened and pieces of burnt bread were abandoned on its counter. A Toyota with a new 25-inch television in the back and its windows shattered stood empty by a smoking metal heap. Store owners denied anyone had fired from their building, despite clear evidence to the contrary of a booming gunbattle. Interpreters using loudspeakers demanded information about the men who attacked the Americans, and soldiers handed out posters to children of masked gunmen that urged Iraqis to turn the fighters in. "My store is riddled with 4,000 bullets," said Qassam Al Zubaidi, 31, whose television shop was where the two soldiers had been shopping before heading back to their car. "The Americans owe me 30,000 dollars." http://jang.com.pk/thenews/aug2003-daily/09-08-2003/main/main7.htm * US TROOPS KILL SIX IRAQIS News International, 9th August TIKRIT: US troops shot dead five Iraqi men and a child in Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit on Friday, a local hospital chief said, but the military said they had killed only two, who were "illegally trafficking weapons". Dr Salah al-Dulaimi told AFP US soldiers opened fire at five arms sellers who were test firing Kalashnikov assault rifles for customers at 8:30am (0430 GMT), killing them. A child who was in the marketplace of the town, 175 kilometres north of Baghdad, was also fatally shot, and a woman was wounded, he said. But Lieutenant-Colonel Bill MacDonald, of the 4th Infantry Division, assigned to Tikrit, gave a different version of events. "Soldiers of 4th ID sent out an observation patrol to monitor a location where suspected former regime loyalists were trafficking illegal arms. At 7:30am (0330 GMT), a team observed four men. The team engaged the four men, two were wounded, two were killed," MacDonald said. "One of the wounded was treated at the scene, the other wounded man was evacuated to an Iraqi hospital, both are under custody of the Iraqi national police," he added. No US forces were injured, MacDonald said. The soldiers, who checked the area afterwards, found AK 47 rifles, loaded magazines and small arms ammunition "and material that can make up improvised explosive devices, such as wires and switches". MacDonald also said three US soldiers were wounded in separate attacks around Tikrit, where the 4ID is scouring the countryside in a bid to disable the support network of Saddam and hopefully find the ousted president himself. Two were hospitalised after roadside bomb attacks, and a third was wounded by a mortar round, but returned to duty. The 4ID arrested 12 Iraqis, including three wanted for attacks, during raids overnight and early Friday, MacDonald said. "Late Thursday-early Friday, we conducted four raids and we detained 12. Out of these 12, three were former regime loyalists involved with illegal weapons training and organising attacks against coalition forces," he said. Two weapons caches were seized, containing a total of more than 100 Kalashnikovs, a dozen sniper rifles, more than 35 rocket-propelled grenades, 23 rockets, 10 mortars and a box of ammunition. Also on Friday, a Fourth Infantry Division soldier died while sleeping at his base in the town of Kirkush near the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, US Central Command said in a statement. No further information was available, but the incident was under investigation, it said. [.....] http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/story.jsp?story=432529 * EX-GURKHA KILLED IN AMBUSH AS MORE RIOTS FLARE IN BASRA by Justin Huggler in Baghdad The Independent, 11th August British soldiers fought to control rioting Iraqis in the southern city of Basra for the second day running yesterday. At least one Iraqi protester was shot dead, but in the chaos in the city nobody could tell who killed him. A Nepalese former gurkha working for a private security firm was shot dead in an ambush by Iraqi gunmen. Masked men claiming to represent an Iraqi resistance group appeared in a video shown on al-Jazeera television holding rocket-propelled grenade launchers (RPGs) and vowed: "We will make the whole land of Iraq a graveyard to all those villain invaders." The unrest in Basra is some of the worst the British have faced since the US President, George Bush, declared the war over. While American soldiers have faced daily attacks by RPGs and explosives in the rest of the country, in the south things have been generally quieter for the British. But the violence which seethed on the streets of Basra yesterday was not orchestrated by the resistance, it appears. Rather it was ordinary Iraqis who took to the streets in fury at constant power cuts and acute fuel shortages. With temperatures above 50C (122F), Iraqis desperately need electricity to power their air conditioners. The country is suffering from severe power cuts, which have done nothing to make the Americans and British popular. But in Basra they have been severely exacerbated after a local power station was attacked - it is not clear by whom - and put out of action. When the mains go off, Iraqis turn to generators. But they need fuel for these and, incredibly in a country with Iraq's vast oil reserves, there is a severe fuel shortage. British troops and tanks were guarding petrol stations from enraged protesters yesterday. Many in Basra were blaming Kuwait, accusing the country, which sided with the Americans during the invasion of Iraq, of stealing Iraqi oil. About 1,000 Iraqis took to the streets of Basra, according to the British Army. Angry crowds gathered around cars and demanded to know if there were Kuwaitis inside. Elsewhere, they set up barricades of burning tyres. In scenes reminiscent of the West Bank, they threw stones at passing trucks and cars. Reporters in the city saw an injured man being carried out of a schoolbus, its windows shattered by stones. The former gurkha was shot dead after his car was ambushed in Basra as he delivered mail for the United Nations. He was working privately for the company Global Security. Many Nepalese former gurkhas work for private security firms in Iraq. In what the British Army said was a "separate incident", British soldiers came under attack and returned fire. Arab commentators suggestedthe British may now be feeling a little of the heat the Americans have been facing in Baghdad. But this is by no means an organised Shia resistance, yet. Shia religious leaders have still not issued any fatwas calling for resistance: yesterday's riots were enraged people taking their anger on to the streets. If the Shia start resisting in earnest, it could get a lot worse. But Iraq's Sunni resistance has already started. The resistance fighters who appeared in the video shown on al-Jazeera yesterday, their faces swathed in red-chequered keffiyehs, insisted they were not supporters of Saddam Hussein. "We are ready to give our sons' lives," one of them read out in a statement. "The Baathists [Saddam's regime] were not ready to give their sons' lives to defend the country, to defend Baghdad. How can they talk about resistance?" Next to him sat another man with a Kalashnikov, and behind them stood two fighters with RPG launchers. A number of resistance groups have emerged. While some support the deposed Iraqi leader, other Sunni Islamist groups do not and there has been squabbling between the factions. Attacks on the occupation forces continued yesterday. Two American soldiers were injured in an attack in Tikrit. Two more American soldiers and an Arab journalist for al-Jazeera were also wounded in a grenade attack in Baghdad. http://www.jordantimes.com/Mon/news/news5.htm * US DETAINS SHIITE CLERIC IN FLASHPOINT IRAQI TOWN Jordan Times, 11th August BAQUBA, Iraq (AFP) ‹ A leading Shiite cleric was arrested overnight by American troops in the flashpoint town of Baquba northwest of Baghdad, the man's son told AFP Sunday. US soldiers picked up at midnight Ali Abdul Karim Al Madani, 48, the highest ranking Shiite cleric in the Dyala region who had previously been jailed from July 2-4, his son Hasan Abdul Halim Al Madani told AFP. Madani, whose brief arrest last month sparked demonstrations that left one man dead in a mysterious explosion, was led away by 30 US soldiers, who came in five Humvee vehicles, backed up by two tanks and a transport truck. Twelve others were arrested along with him, including two bodyguards, the cleric's nephew Haider Abdul Halim told AFP. At the time of his previous arrest, US troops suspected the greying cleric of a connection to a large weapons cache found in a Baquba mosque and also of calling for violence against the Americans. During the latest raid, Haider complained the troops had confiscated 20 million dinars ($14,000) collected by Madani for the construction of a new mosque. He said no reason was given for the arrest, while US troops had noimmediate comment. "There are no good relations with the Americans. Like all Iraqis, we are against the occupation, but we are for peaceful negotiations with them," Haider said. He added Madani, the son of a former grand ayatollah, backed the line of Iraq's current senior Shiite cleric Ali Al Sistani, who advocates a wait-and-see approach towards the US forces. Meanwhile, in the centre of Baquba, US soldiers were fired on early Sunday by two members of Saddam Hussein's Fedayeen paramilitary group from their car, said Ibrahim Ali, 40, a security guard with the coalition. The pair then fled their vehicle after the soldiers fired back and blood stains were found on the car's frontseat, he said. The car had the words "Long live Fedayeen Saddam" scrawled on its hood. Also overnight, the main US base, outside of town, received one round of mortar fire, while helicopters combed the surrounding fields and groves for the attackers, said witness Issam Al Dulaimi, 34. Late Saturday, a rocket-propelled grenade set a US military vehicle aflame on the road to the main US base in Baquba, said labourer Ziad Hadi, 30. He did not know if there were any casualties in the attack at about 10:30 pm (1830 GMT). Baquba, 60 kilometres northwest of Baghdad, is home to both Sunni and Shiite Muslims, and has been a regular battleground between US troops and guerrilla insurgents linked to Saddam. Three US soldiers were killed in a grenade attack while guarding the local children's hospital here last month. http://www.heraldtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20030809/NEWS/308090 382/1060 * 'HUMAN SHIELD' FACES $10,000 FINE Sarasota Herald Tribune, 12th August SARASOTA -- A Sarasota woman who served as a "human shield" during the war in Iraq faces thousands of dollars in civil penalties. According to a letter dated March 20 from the federal Department of the Treasury, Faith Fippinger broke the law by crossing the Iraqi border -- a violation of U.S. sanctions that prohibit American citizens from engaging in "virtually all direct or indirect commercial, financial or trade transactions with Iraq." Fippinger, who returned home on May 4, learned of the letter from her brother, who kept track of her mail while she was overseas. Once she arrived in the United States, she had 20 days to respond, which she did. Now, Fippinger, 62, owes the United States at least $10,000, which is $10,000 more than she says she will pay. In a letter Fippinger mailed to the government in May, she said she would not pay a fine. "If it comes to fines or imprisonment, please be aware that I will not contribute money to the United States government to continue the build-up of its arsenal of weapons," Fippinger wrote in her response to the charges. She said she has no intention of paying. "Therefore, perhaps the alternative should be considered." The alternative could be as much as 12 years in prison. Fippinger said the $10,000 was a settlement offered to her by the Treasury Department as a quicker alternative to a drawn-out legal battle that could cost her up to $1 million. If Fippinger does not pay, the fine may increase, and the money will be drawn from her retirement paycheck, her Social Security check or any of her assets. She says she doesn't have much. "She was (in Iraq) in violation of U.S. sanctions," said Taylor Griffin, a Treasury Department spokesman. "That's what happens." The letter, signed by David Harmon, chief of the enforcement division of the Office of Foreign Assets Control, demanded that Fippinger include in her response the purposes and dates of her time in Iraq, along with a description of any financial transactions she made. The letter also asked for the name of any travel agent who arranged the trip, any U.S. goods she might have donated and any Iraqi goods she might have brought home. "They're saying that I, as a human shield, exported services to Iraq by going over there," Fippinger said Friday. In her response, Fippinger wrote that the only money she spent was on food and emergency supplies. She and others from 30 countries spread out through Iraq in a futile effort to prevent American bombing of the country. She spent about three months there, including time at an oil refinery. Only about 20 of nearly 300 "human shields" were Americans, she said. They all face the same charges as Fippinger. "I thought it was one of my friends pulling a joke on me," said one of them, Ryan Clancey of Milwaukee on Friday. He said the Treasury Department didn't promise that the case would be closed if he paid the $10,000. "They use the word settlement as in 'perhaps we won't punish you,'" he said. The Treasury Department employee who contacted Clancey told him that three others were facing possible criminal charges, but would not say who they were or whether Clancey would join their ranks. Griffin said Fippinger and the others also violated a ban against travel to Iraq. "I was aware I was violating a travel ban," Clancey said. "But I needed to meet the people we were going to bomb and kill." So far, arguments against the penalties have proven fruitless. "When you break the law, you can expect to get a fine," Griffin said. "The Bush administration is committed to the full and fair enforcement of the law." http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=564&ncid=716&e=11&u=/nm/2003 0812/ts_nm/iraq_dc * U.S. SOLDIER DIES IN BOMB ATTACK WEST OF BAGHDAD by Huda Majeed Saleh Yahoo, 12th August BAGHDAD (Reuters) - A U.S. soldier was killed and two soldiers were wounded in a bomb attack Tuesday west of Baghdad, as Kurds near the Iranian border said they had captured dozens of militant fighters trying to infiltrate Iraq. A U.S. Army spokeswoman said the soldier died when three synchronized bombs were detonated near a U.S. convoy in the restive town of Ramadi. The attack brought to 57 the number of U.S. soldiers killed in guerrilla attacks since the start of May. In the northern city of Mosul, a U.S. Humvee was destroyed in a blast and witnesses said four casualties were taken away. The U.S. Army said it had no details. U.S. forces occupying Iraq come under daily attack, and Washington says die-hard Saddam Hussein loyalists and some foreign militants are behind the guerrilla campaign. Adel Murad, a spokesman for the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), told Reuters in Baghdad that Kurdish Peshmerga militiamen had rounded up 50 people near the Iranian border -- some of them members of the shadowy Ansar al-Islam group, which Washington has linked to Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network. Paul Bremer, Iraq's U.S. governor, told a news conference that Ansar al-Islam was one of the groups under suspicion for a truck bomb attack on the Jordanian embassy in Baghdad last week that killed at least 17 people and wounded scores. He said the attack was "an act of irresponsible terrorism by criminals" but it was too early to say who was to blame. "It's possible this attack was conducted by foreign terrorists. It is also possible it was conducted by Iraqis," he said. "The investigation by Iraqi police is going forward." [.....] http://www.msnbc.com/news/950482.asp?0bl=-0 * ROUGH JUSTICE by Rod Nordland NEWSWEEK, 18th August The family of Tariq Aziz, the Iraqi deputy prime minister who surrendered early to Coalition forces, is outraged. Once the international face of Saddam's regime, Aziz is now confined in a stifling room with just a bed at Camp Cropper, the American prison at Baghdad airport. HIS RELATIVES CAN'T visit him, and they have no idea when or if he'll be released. At least he can write: "I am okay and getting good medical care, but I miss you all and the grandchildren. Hugs and kisses," he penned in a letter to his wife, Violet, on July 15. The one-page letter, shown to NEWSWEEK, included a P.S.: "Please send me magazines and newspapers, cigarettes (a lot, preferably Marlboros), underwear and a disdash [the lightweight gown for men]." Violet Aziz says she sent what he requested, "but when I wanted to send more, they said, 'Only once a month.' Where are the human rights that the U.S. is always talking about?" Aziz's sister Amal adds: "It's a shame how he is being treated." Few Americans will get teary for Tariq Aziz, faithful servant to the Butcher of Baghdad. But consider the case of Rafet Kamal, a 27-year-old shop clerk who went out for cigarettes one night two weeks ago and never returned home. Kamal's father, named Kamal Sayit, an unemployed laborer with no connections and no English, went from prison to police station to hospital looking for him. At Camp Cropper, he was simply turned away at gunpoint. Finally, after 10 days of fruitless searching, Sayit visited Baghdad's morgue last Tuesday. He suspected the worst by this point, if only because his son had taken a pistol out with him. It was for personal protection, Sayit says, but he knew Coalition troops forbade it. Attendants ushered the father to one of five refrigerated rooms, where bodies lay piled two or three deep, nearly all of them young men with gunshot wounds. There he found his son lying on top, his body riddled with bullets. Sayit beat his own head with both fists and cried, "I just want to know: was he killed by American soldiers?" He will never know for certain, because no one will ever investigate. That's partly because there is no codified system of justice in occupied Iraq. As many as 8,000 people have disappeared since Saddam's regime collapsed, and many relatives are searching for answers about their fate. More than 5,000 are in U.S. custody; others may be among those killed by fellow Iraqis, and in some cases by American troops. Those who have been detained are nearly - always held incommunicado, without access to lawyers or even the right to contact their families. In most cases their loved ones can't find out where they are. With Iraqi prisons looted and destroyed, captives are jailed in barbed-wire compounds, converted warehouses and vast tent camps. Conditions are primitive; at their worst they amount to what Amnesty International describes as "cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment." [.....] American forces, however, have killed hundreds of Iraqis, including many innocent bystanders. The military keeps no records of civilian victims, and usually lets family members take the body away. If no one claims it, soldiers take it to the morgue. Sometimes the victims are shot when failing to heed a roadblock, or when they happen into a fire fight. Last week a bomb under a Humvee exploded, and troops fired wildly into the crowded shops nearby. There was no return fire, but the shooting went on for hours and left at least one Iraqi bystander dead. The week before, four Christians on their way to church in Baghdad's upper-class Mansour district were shot to death as they happened upon the scene of a house raid; the military says the incident is under investigation. With at least a dozen hit-and-run attacks a day taking place against American troops, such mishaps are commonplace. Adding to the body count, troops are now allowed to shoot looters and curfew violators if they don't heed orders. At Baghdad's morgue, the results are plain to see. Two or three times a day now, according to clerk Muhammed Hussein, the morgue receives corpses of people killed by the Coalition; they arrive in the black body bags used by the U.S. Army. Pathologist Hassan Faisal Lazim says more than 3,000 victims have arrived at the facility, which serves only Baghdad, since Saddam's regime fell. Most are victims of Iraqi-on-Iraqi violence, and 95 percent have been killed by gunshot. While only 15 to 20 percent of them have been shot by the Coalition, according to Lazim's estimates, that's still a significant death toll. General Sanchez said last week: "Unfortunately, in some cases, when you're in the middle of a fire fight, there are innocent civilians that are hurt." Last week pickup trucks pulled into the Baghdad morgue's driveway, one after another, with bodies of young men who had been shot. Some came with wailing family members; in other cases corpses had been collected from the street after curfew lifted at 6 a.m. Policeman Satter Abdul Wahid arrived in his car, the rear window busted out, with a man's body in the trunk, the feet sticking out over the side. The corpse had been found on the street, shot seven times with heavy-caliber bullets; beyond that no one knew anything. "Even if they didn't do this, I blame the Coalition forces," Wahid said. "If they let the police operate independently, this wouldn't happen." By 10:30 that morning, Lazim had performed 22 autopsies, and bodies were still arriving. All but one were gunshot victims. A steady stream of Iraqis arrived, looking at the faces of the corpses in the truck beds, on the autopsy tables inside and stacked in the refrigerators. Most went away relieved, to search elsewhere, but occasionally someone started wailing. No one could tell Kamal Sayit who had killed his son, but his wounds seemed to be from a small-caliber weapon such as a pistol‹probably not military. It was small consolation. He slumped to the tiled examining room floor and wept into his hands. With Colin Soloway in Tikrit, and Christopher Dickey and Scott Johnson in Baghdad _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. 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