The United States military said on Tuesday it had killed the ''right-hand man'' of slain al-Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, describing him as someone who could have succeeded the Jordanian-born militant. Iraqi Mansur Suleiman al-Mashhadani was killed on Friday by US forces, said Major General William Caldwell, spokesperson of US-led coalition forces.
Al-Qaeda's chief in Iraq Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has been killed in an air strike, United States and Iraqi officials announced on Thursday, hailing a major blow against the network's bid to destabilise the country. The US military said al-Zarqawi was killed in an air strike on a safe house north of Baghdad where he was holding a meeting with fellow militants.
The trial of Saddam Hussein and his associates resumed on Monday with all eight defendants present and a resumption of defence-witness testimony. Presiding Judge Rauf Abdel Rahman began the session by announcing that the court would hear testimony from two witnesses for defendant Ali Dayih Ali, a minor Ba'athist official from Dujail.
Iraq's leadership, including the Sunni Arab camp involved in efforts to forge a unity government, on Wednesday jointly condemned the defiant battle cry from al-Qaeda frontman Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. "Al-Zarqawi has launched a genocide against the Iraqi people, branding the Shi'ites as rawafidh [rejectionists], the Kurds as traitors, and the Sunni Arabs as renegades," said President Jalal Talabani .
The trial of Saddam Hussein on charges of crimes against humanity resumed on Wednesday for a brief ten minute session without the deposed leader or any of the other seven defendants present. Chief Judge Rauf Abdel Rahman adjourned the session to April 17 after the shortest session of the trial since it began in October.
Three suicide bombers, two of them disguised as women, killed at least 79 people and wounded 164 as worshippers left a popular northern Baghdad Shi'ite mosque after weekly Friday prayers. The blasts marked the second major attack on Iraq's majority community in as many days.
At least 21 people were killed when a car-bomb ripped through a mostly-Shi'ite market in southern Baghdad on Tuesday as visiting British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw appealed for Iraqi unity. The evening explosion devastated the Abu Dshir general market in the capital's southern district of Dura as people went about their evening shopping, also wounding 27, police said.
Rebels killed four United States marines and at least six Iraqis died in attacks on Tuesday amid a tight security clampdown ahead of the major Shi'ite Muslim ceremony of Ashura, a favourite target of Sunni insurgents. The marines were killed in the two rebel strikes in the western province of al-Anbar.
The head of the Coptic Orthodox Church, the oldest of African churches, is scheduled to visit South Africa for four days next week. ''His Holiness Pope Shenouda III, Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of Saint Mark ... is the only African Pope and 117th in the Apostolic succession of Saint Mark,'' the Egyptian embassy said.
Former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and all the high-profile accused on Wednesday refused to attend the latest session of their trial, as the embattled tribunal finally completed the first phase of testimony. Neither Saddam nor his defence team and none of the three other well-known defendants attended the hearing.
Sari-clad women carry sparkling metal pots of water on their heads through winding alleys leading to their homes. It's a scene from eternal India, oft romanticised as a daily part of a wholesome country life. But these mothers and children live not in isolated villages. They eke out a living in an overcrowded slum in the shadow of the World Trade Centre.
More than a dozen explosions ripped through the Iraqi capital on Wednesday, killing at least 152 people and wounding 542 in a deadly series of attacks that began with a huge suicide car bombing that targeted labourers assembled to find work for the day. Al-Qaeda in Iraq claimed responsibility.