Al-Jazeera.net – 2005-04-15 23:44:13
KIRKUK (April 15, 2005) — Shamal Abd Allah Assad, who worked for the local station of Iraqi President Jalal Talabani’s Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, was gunned down on Friday by armed men in a car park, said police Colonel Ad al-Zain al-Abidine Ibrahim.
Kirkuk, home to Kurds, Arabs and Turkmen, has been on edge since the 30 January elections that saw Kurds move closer to their goal of annexing the city to Kurdistan.
Two journalists were gunned down in the northern city of Mosul in March and February. One of them was a reporter with a local Kurdish television station.
At least 50 journalists and other media workers have been killed in Iraq since the US-led invasion of Iraq two years ago.
A car bomb targeting a convoy of Iraqi national guards exploded in al-Amiriyah neighbourhood west of Baghdad on Friday, Aljazeera learned. No casualties were reported.
In the Khan Dhari area near the Abu Ghraib neighbourhood, a roadside bomb destroyed a US Humvee and wounded several US soldiers in it, Aljazeera learned.
Two US marines were killed in separate attacks on Wednesday and Thursday, the US military revealed on Friday.
One marine, assigned to the 2nd Marine Division, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force, died on Wednesday when a mortar round landed inside a military base at Camp Hit in western Iraq, the military said.
The second marine, assigned to the 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, was killed on Thursday by anti-US fighters while conducting combat operations in Ramadi.
The names of both were being withheld pending notification of next of kin.
Fierce Clashes Erupt in Iraq
(April 14, 2005) — US soldier has been killed in fighting in western Iraq, with clashes elsewhere in the country causing more deaths and destruction. A total of four US convoys were attacked in the Iraqi capital. The soldier was killed while engaging anti-US forces in Ramadi, west of Baghdad, the US military said on Wednesday.
In the Iraqi capital, five Iraqis were killed and four US contractors were wounded when an explosives-laden car blew up in the path of a US convoy just outside the Green Zone, the heavily guarded district populated by the US embassy and government offices.
Earlier, three separate US convoys were also attacked in other parts of the city, including one near the international airport in western Baghdad, witnesses said.
In one of the blasts, a US military oil tanker was set ablaze in eastern Baghdad, witnesses said.
The truck was hit by a blast at 8.45am (0445 GMT) in a convoy on al-Kanat road, which cuts through eastern Baghdad and borders Sadr City, an Interior Ministry source said.
Surge in Violence
Separately, a police source reported an attack on a US military vehicle in the capital’s Jadida district, but no further details were immediately available.
In the north of the country, 12 Iraqi guards were killed when a roadside bomb exploded as they were defusing another explosive device, later revealed to be a decoy.
The device detonated on Wednesday near a fuel pipeline in the Badwan area, about 15km north of Kirkuk, Iraqi police sources told Aljazeera.
Kirkuk’s chief of police, Major-General Turhan Abd al-Rahman, told Aljazeera that bomb experts were sent to defuse an explosive device found on a road north of Kirkuk.
“The bomb then exploded, killing 12 guards, including two officers, and injuring three Iraqi policemen,” he said.
“The killed people do not belong to the Iraqi police. They have been employed with civil contracts. The officers have been granted their ranks by the company overseeing oil installations protection,” Abd al-Rahman said.
“Only three policemen were injured on Wednesday. They were at the explosion site to seal off the area and prevent people from approaching it.”
Meanwhile, fighting in the western border town of al-Qaim continued for the sixth consecutive day with a US military statement reporting nine fighters killed on Tuesday.
“During sporadic fighting around Camp Gannon yesterday, nine insurgents were killed by marines,” it said in a statement. “All nine insurgents were killed as they attacked the camp with various types of small arms weapons.” The fighting raged 8km east of the border with Syria in al-Qaim-Husaybah region.
On Monday, three US marines and three Iraqis were wounded when car bombs were set off outside the camp. Sources in the town reported heavy clashes again on Wednesday
Captive’s Video Plea
On Wednesday evening, Aljazeera aired a video tape depicting an American citizen who was taken captive in Iraq on Sunday pleading for the US to work for his release.
The tape on Wednesday showed the US contractor sitting behind a wooden desk as three men pointed their guns at him.
US embassy spokesman in Baghdad Bob Callahan confirmed the captive’s name as Jeffrey Ake and said the pictures seemed to be consistent with his appearance, but declined to give further details. No group has claimed responsibility for the abduction.
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