Monday, November 28, 2005

Basra In The News

I haven't talked about Basra for a while. So, I tried to gather some news about what's going on there. Here's what I found.

AKI Italian news agency reported:

Basra, 25 Nov. (AKI) - A security source in the southern Iraqi city of Basra has revealed that the local authorities are investigating three Iranians who entered the city illegally. The source, who asked to remain anonymous, said the intelligence services in the province are carrying out inquiries into several people working for the Iranian secret services who arrived in the city last week.

According to information released by one of the local religious movements, the three people arrived in the city to issue directives on the killing of several Basra citizens, including several journalists, who feature on a long list of Iran's potential targets.

The security source said that as part of the inquiry, agents raided a house in the 'Five Miles' area, where the infiltrators are believed to be hiding. The anonymous source also said that information gathered could prove the involvement of the 'Badr' Organization [the military arm of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, SCIRI] in the killing of the American journalist and writer Steven Vincent, several months ago in Basra.

Read more...

Do you mean it wasn't an "honor killing" as some people kept saying? You don't have to be a Yale or a Harvard A+ graduate to figure that Steven's murder was an assassination by the SAME groups he criticized in his last reports and posts from Basra.

Let's say Steven's murder was an "honor killing." Then, how do these people explain the murder of Iraqi journalist Fakher Haider two months after the murder of Steven. May I remind those people the sequence of events that led to Fakher's murder was almost 100 percent similar to Steven's. Just a thought.

AKI Italian news agency also reported:

Basra, 21 Nov. (AKI) - Several professors from the University of Basra in the south of Iraq have been receiving threatening letters accompanied by bullet cartridges. One professor from the Pharmacy faculty told Adnkronos International (AKI) that he had received a letter of this type in his office, which also carried a verse from the Koran saying: "When the end arrives they cannot delay it by an hour or anticipate it." Another professor from the fine arts faculty said he had received a similar message a few days ago, as had a lecturer from the Technology Institute.

The pharmacy professor, who has no connection to the other two, told AKI he had no intention of informing the police, saying: "the police are manipulated and it may actually be them who are killing people."

Read more...

It's really sad when you can't trust the cops, which brings to mind a report published on scotsman.com News:

Defense Secretary John Reid has admitted that the government has complained to counterparts in Baghdad over mounting claims of abuse - and even murder - in detention centers around Basra in the south of Iraq.
[...]
Senior defense sources last night confirmed that the two SAS men freed during a British raid on the al-Jamiyat prison in Basra in September had been gathering evidence on a high-ranking Iraqi who may have been torturing hundreds of prisoners with an electric drill. At least two corpses with drill-holes in their heads and legs have been discovered.

Read more...

At least, we now know more about that SAS men incident.

Would Iraqis vote for a more sincere, fair and secular government in the upcoming election? I sure hope so.

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