Mona Salem

Mona Salem

    Iraq launches Baghdad security crackdown

    Iraq clamped a raft of draconian new security rules on its war-torn capital on Wednesday amid mystery over the whereabouts of radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, whom United States officials say has fled to Iran. US defence officials claimed that the anti-American cleric had travelled to Tehran two or three weeks ago.

    Key Saddam lawyers boycott trial

    The last phase of the turbulent trial of Saddam Hussein on charges of crimes against humanity resumed on Monday with a boycott by the deposed Iraqi leader and key members of the defence team. The Iraqi high tribunal said it would continue to hear the defence's closing arguments with or without Saddam or his lawyers.

    Deadly street battles prompt daytime Baghdad curfew

    A daytime gun battle in the capital between Sunni insurgents and Shi'ite militiamen prompted the Iraqi government to tighten the Baghdad curfew on Friday as 22 people died in two bombings. The street fighting on Haifa Street on Baghdad's west side broke out after militiamen loyal to Shi'ite radical leader Moqtada al-Sadr's Mehdi Army came under attack from Sunni Arab gunmen.

    Egyptian ferry sinks in Red Sea

    Many people were feared dead on Friday when an Egyptian ferry with about 1 400 on board, including many Muslim pilgrims, sank in the Red Sea during a crossing from Saudi Arabia to Egypt. Twenty bodies were recovered amid fears of a much higher death toll, while survivors were battling for their lives in lifeboats in heavy seas.