The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
[Main archive index/search] [List information] [Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=514&e=1&u=/ap/20031112/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iraq Bomb at Italian Base in Iraq Kills Six By SAMEER N. YACOUB, Associated Press Writer BAGHDAD, Iraq - An explosion rocked the headquarters of the Italian Carabinieri police in the southern Iraqi city of Nasiriyah on Wednesday, killing at least six Italians and possibly trapping others under the debris, Carabinieri said in Rome. Italian President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi called the bombing a "terrorist act." An explosive device went off at about 10:40 a.m. Iraqi time at the Carabinieri's multinational specialist unit in the southern city of Nasiriyah, the Italian paramilitary police said in a statement. The statement said that the explosion occurred in front of the base, near the Iraqi chamber of commerce (news - web sites). A Carabinieri official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that six Italians were dead, confirming Italian media reports. Maj. Roberto Riccardi, an official with the Carabinieri in Rome, said the building was in flames and it was feared that some people were trapped under the rubble. He said details were difficult to come by because communication had been severed. "We cannot exclude the possibility that there are soldiers under the rubble," he said by telephone. The Carabinieri also said some Iraqis also may have been wounded. Italy has sent about 2,500 troops to help the reconstruction in Iraq (news - web sites). About 300 Carabinieri are based in the Nasiriyah camp, along with 110 Romanians. Everyone was believed to have been inside the building at the time of the blast, because it occurred early in the morning, Riccardi said. Since August, vehicle bombs have targeted several international buildings, including the United Nations (news - web sites) headquarters, the offices of the international Red Cross, the Baghdad Hotel and the Turkish and Jordanian embassies in Baghdad. Nasiriyah, a Shiite city, had been relatively quite in recent months, although it was the scene of heavy fighting during the war. It was where the 507th Maintenance Company was ambushed in March and where a number of Americans were captured, including Jessica Lynch. Italian troops serving in the U.S.-led mulitnational force have suffered no combat-related fatalities. The Italian official heading up U.S. efforts to recover Iraq's looted antiquities, Pietro Cordone, was in a car that came under mistaken U.S. fire in September in northern Iraq. Cordone's Iraqi interpreter was killed in the shooting. Earlier Wednesday, a member of the Iraqi Governing Council said the body was not to blame for the lack of progress in drafting a new constitution that would enable democratic elections and a return to Iraqi independence. The comments by Mahmoud Othman, a Sunni Kurd member of the U.S.-appointed body, follow reports that President Bush (news - web sites)'s national security advisers are frustrated by the council's performance and are consulting with Iraq's top American administrator, L. Paul Bremer, over how to break the constitutional deadlock. "Such accusations are unreasonable and do no good for the country," Othman said. "The Governing Council should not alone bear the responsibility of any inefficiency." Othman, who has been a member of the 25-seat body since it was formed by the U.S.-led occupation authorities in July, acknowledged that the constitutional process was moving too slowly but said Iraq's U.S.-led administration bore much of the blame. "This is supposed to be a partnership based on equality," Othman said in an interview. "But when Americans want to find solution for their problems, they do it in any way that suits them." Bremer — who was abruptly summoned to Washington on Tuesday — attended a White House meeting with Secretary of State Colin Powell (news - web sites), Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice (news - web sites) and other key officials. Administration officials expressed disappointment in the council's work but said Bush was not about to disband it. "The notion that we are about to throw the council to the wolves is exaggerated," a senior administration official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. "But there is a need to put some energy into the political transition." U.S. officials believe that key members of the Iraqi council are stalling in hopes of winning concessions from American leaders under political pressure to turn over power to the Iraqis. In contrast, Bremer wants to transfer sovereignty after the Iraqis draft a constitution and hold national elections. Othman denied that members of the body were intentionally stalling work on the new charter in order to exert pressure on Bremer. "It is true that council members are demanding more powers, but they are not trying to use the slowness in the process of work as a weapon to gain concessions," he said. The Iraqis have yet to agree on how to choose delegates to draw up a constitution. Some council members are also pushing for an Iraqi-controlled paramilitary force to fight the insurgents, something Bremer opposes without coalition oversight and control. One member of the body, Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani, recommended that it be radically reformed. "There are deficiencies in (the performance of) the Governing Council, which need radical reform," Barzani told the pan-Arab newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat in an interview published Wednesday. "Even with these deficiencies, I don't see a better alternative to this council — at least for the time being," said Barzani, who leads the Kurdistan Democratic Party. As the dispute over the Bush administration's policy of achieving a transition to Iraqi authority came to a head on Tuesday, guerrillas again attacked the U.S. headquarters in Baghdad. The Coalition Provisional Authority said mortar shelling late Tuesday caused no damage to the headquarters, located in the Republican Palace. __________________________________ Do you Yahoo!? Protect your identity with Yahoo! Mail AddressGuard http://antispam.yahoo.com/whatsnewfree _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email firstname.lastname@example.org All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk