Alastair Macdonald

Dozens of corpses found in Baghdad

Police found about 50 bodies with gunshot wounds in Baghdad over the past day, an Interior Ministry source said on Monday, a day after United Nations chief Kofi Annan declared Iraq's plight as worse than civil war. Sectarian death squads have made the Iraqi capital a killing field and many of the bodies had been bound and tortured.

Bombs devastate Baghdad market

Car bombs tore through a fruit and vegetable market in a Shi'ite area of central Baghdad on Saturday, killing 43 people in another devastating attack that is fuelling an increasingly vicious cycle of sectarian violence. The bombing came two days after United States President George Bush met Iraq's prime minister to discuss ways to avert all-out civil war and 10 days after the bloodiest attack since the US invasion killed more than 200 people in the capital.

Bush sidesteps talk of ‘civil war’ in Iraq

United States President George Bush said on Tuesday the hand of al-Qaeda lay behind the sectarian violence racking Iraq, and deflected talk of ''civil war''. Bush, who made his remarks in Estonia on his way to a Nato summit, has avoided using the term civil war, which could increase public pressure on him to pull troops out of Iraq.

Bloodshed in Baghdad

Gunmen attacked a Sunni Arab neighbourhood of Baghdad and burned mosques on Friday in apparent retaliation for the bloodiest bombing in more than three years of war that killed 202 in a Shi'ite area. Two suicide bombs ripped through a Shi'ite market in northern Iraq killing 22 people earlier on Friday and mortars crashed on rival Baghdad neighbourhoods.

Baghdad toll rises as new bombs cause more death

Suicide bombers ripped through a Shi'ite market in northern Iraq on Friday and mortars crashed on rival Baghdad neighbourhoods, ramping up sectarian tension a day after the bloodiest bombing of the conflict killed 202 people. As political leaders pleaded for restraint, two bombers killed 22 people at Tal Afar near the Syrian border.

Bombing bloodbath in Baghdad

Six car bombs killed at least 133 people in a Shi'ite stronghold in Baghdad on Thursday, one of the bloodiest attacks since the United States invasion and likely to inflame sectarian passions in a nation sliding towards civil war. A further 201 people were wounded, police said.

Iraqi govt at odds over missing hostages

A day after a mass kidnap from a Baghdad ministry raised fears Iraq's sectarian militias are out of control, government leaders gave sharply differing accounts on Wednesday of whether dozens of hostages were still missing. The minister whose staff were targeted said up to 80 were still unaccounted for, possibly held by Shi'ite militia.

Iraq starts to lift curfew after Saddam verdict

Iraq began on Monday to lift a curfew imposed to quell any insurgent backlash against the death sentence passed on Saddam Hussein, amid a wave of jubilation among his former victims and fury among diehard supporters. Italy and France urged Iraq not to execute Saddam and Prime Minister Tony Blair said Britain opposed the death penalty.

Saddam thrown of court again

Saddam Hussein lasted two hours in court on Monday before the judge threw him out of his genocide trial for the second time in as many sessions, as the former Iraqi president's lawyers boycotted proceedings. Eight court-appointed lawyers stood in for the defence team, which stayed away in protest at the sacking last week by the Iraqi government of the previous chief judge.

Baghdad clears wreckage after blasts kill 50

Shopkeepers and homeowners in Baghdad cleared rubble and looked for bodies on Friday, the morning after a series of explosions devastated homes and a bazaar just before nightfall, killing up to 50 people. Some five times that number were injured, the health minister said, and hospitals were packed with the wounded.

Saddam on hunger strike for five days

Saddam Hussein and three of his co-defendants have been on hunger strike for five days in protest at court procedures and the killing of their defence lawyers, the United States military said on Wednesday. A spokesperson, who declined to identify the other three, said all four had refused meals since Friday evening but were in good health. Saddam's lawyer said the protest had lasted for seven days and he was concerned about the former president's health.

Opec seen blocking Summit ‘green’ energy goal

Oil exporting countries are blocking European Union efforts to form an alliance with over 100 developing countries to push for firm targets on boosting ''green'' energy.

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