Tags: Iraq | Security | Protesters | Clash

Iraq Security, Protesters Clash

Sunday, 27 March 2005 12:00 AM

About 50 ministry guards were demonstrating, saying they had only been paid in part, Balasem said. It was unclear why the minister's bodyguards opened fire.

Also Sunday, insurgents hit a police patrol with a roadside bomb in the southern oil city of Basra, injuring one nearby civilian, Lt. Col. Karim Ali Al-Zaydi said. They also damaged an oil pipeline in northern Iraq, halting exports to Turkey. The pipeline has been targeted in the past.

The U.S. military said an unmanned aerial vehicle crashed early Sunday near Balad, 50 miles north of Baghdad. The cause was under investigation.

Late Saturday, assailants opened fire on a cafe popular with ethnic Kurds in Kirkuk, killing one and injuring three, said Sarhat Kadre of the police force in the ethnically mixed city 180 miles north of Baghdad. The motive in the attack was not known.

The U.S. military said Sunday there were two fatal insurgent attacks on Iraqis a day earlier. A mortar explosion in the northern city of Tal Afar killed two Iraqi civilians and injured another 15 people, and a homemade bomb exploded near a military convoy, killing one civilian and injuring five others.

Iraq's insurgency appears to be scaling back attacks on U.S. military forces while focusing its deadly efforts on government workers, primarily targeting Iraq's fledgling security forces.

A video posted Sunday on the Internet purportedly showed an Iraqi Interior Ministry official hostage being shot dead by militants from Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's terror network.

There was no way to independently authenticate the video, which was posted on a militant Web site.

The video showed a man identifying himself as Col. Ryadh Gatie Olyway seated between two masked men wearing black. He displayed his Interior Ministry identification card and said he was a liaison officer with the American forces. Behind the men was the black banner of Al-Qaida in Iraq.

Olyway said he provided the U.S. military with the names "of officers of the former Iraqi army, who are Sunnis, and their addresses."

An Interior Ministry official speaking on condition of anonymity said Olyway worked as a liaison officer between the Interior and Oil ministries and was kidnapped more than a month ago. He had not seen the video and could not confirm whether the hostage shown was Olyway.

The hostage, referring to alleged female Iraqi prisoners, said he had witnessed "different methods of torture and violation of their honor" at the hands of American troops.

Al-Qaida in Iraq has said many of its latest killings were in revenge for female Iraqi prisoners. The American military has denied holding any Iraqi women.

Olyway was then shown blindfolded, and a third masked man appeared to shoot him once in the head.

Also Sunday, the top U.N. envoy in Iraq, Ashraf Qazi, met with top Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani in Najaf, but details of the meeting were not immediately released.

Congregants gathered at the Virgin Mary Church in Baghdad to celebrate Easter.

"We wish Iraqis in general and Christians in particular a happy Easter and wish them a happy year," said one parishioner, Sabah Rasam, part of a Christian community that accounts for an estimated 3 percent of Iraq's 25 million people. "We are brothers with all Iraqis and will remain so forever."

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About 50 ministry guards were demonstrating, saying they had only been paid in part, Balasem said. It was unclear why the minister's bodyguards opened fire. Also Sunday, insurgents hit a police patrol with a roadside bomb in the southern oil city of Basra, injuring one...
Iraq,Security,,Protesters,Clash
543
2005-00-27
Sunday, 27 March 2005 12:00 AM
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