Tuesday, May 15, 2007
INM daily summary – 15 May 2007
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- Al-Qaeda has lost its most powerful friend in Iraq: Harith al-Dari, the country's most influential Sunni cleric and a prominent anti-American figure, has rejected al-Qaeda's vision of an Islamic state.
- A parliamentary committee set up to study amendments to Iraq's constitution has failed to agree on a number of issues and will seek a weeklong extension of its deadline to present a report to parliament.
- A statement was painted on the walls of Fallujah which says that the Islamic Army, Ansar Al Sunna, Mujahadin Army, and the 1920 Revolutionary Battalions have decided to form a new front called the Jihad and Reformation Front.
- British military officers in Iraq have been party to secret talks with Sunni insurgent leaders there, Iraq's president said in an interview published Tuesday.
- Basra, the richest city in Iraq and gateway to the Gulf, could erupt into all-out war between rival Shi'ite groups seeking control of its vast oil wealth as British forces prepare to draw down.
- A high ranking source at the Iraqi Trade Ministry said on Thursday that Iraq has received 50,000 tons of American wheat and 29,000 tons out of 150,000 tons of Thai rice contracted on before.
- Iraqi Minister of Planning, Ali Baban, said that the oil agreement between Iraq and Jordan provides for the latter to provide oil at preferential prices.
- Iraq will press Indian firms to set up refineries there during a four-day visit to India by Oil Minister Hussain al-Shahristani later this month.
- General Yasin Al Yasiri, the Chief of Identity Cards, Passports, and Foreign Resident’s Cards, said the issuance of passports will now be centralized - Iraqis can only receive a passport in Baghdad.
- Over the past four years, as sectarian kidnappings and killings have gripped Iraq and U.S. forces have arrested untold numbers in an effort to pacify the country, tens of thousands of Iraqis have vanished.
- Iraqi police prevented news photographers and camera operators from filming the scene of a bombing Tuesday under a new policy limiting coverage of the devastating explosions that have become a hallmark of the violence in the country.
- In the first 11 days of this month, there have already been 234 bodies - men murdered by death squads - dumped around the capital, a dramatic rise from the 137 found in the same period of April.
- U.S. troops have questioned hundreds of people and detained 11 in the search for three American soldiers feared captured by al-Qaida.
- NEW LINK: Maps - New York Times interactive map of violence in Baghdad.