Paul Schemm
Guest Author
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/ 6 June 2006

Bodies at Iraq desert crime scene have story to tell

Draped in the traditional jackets and robes of southern Iraq, the skeletons lie in a grim tableau at the bottom of the sandy ditch, their jaws open and blindfolds of tattered Arab scarves tied around their empty eye sockets. "I believe they were shot here," said Michael Trimble, head of the mass graves unit for the Regime Crimes Liaison Office in Iraq.

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/ 15 May 2006

Saddam defiant in face of massacre charges

Former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein on Monday defiantly refused even to enter a plea as charges were formally presented in a hearing that marked a new stage in his long-running trial. The chief judge read out charges implicating Saddam and the other defendants in the massacre of 148 Shi’ite villagers in the 1980s.

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/ 14 May 2006

At least 16 killed in Iraq violence

At least 16 Iraqis were killed in an upsurge of violence on Sunday, including five who died in a blast on Baghdad’s Palestine Street that targeted a passing police patrol, Iraqi security officials said. The roadside bombing in the east of the capital missed the police patrol but killed the bystanders and wounded four others, a defence ministry source said.

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/ 4 April 2006

Saddam to face genocide charges

Former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, who is currently facing charges of crimes against humanity, will face, for the first time, genocide charges over the Anfal campaign against Kurds that left around 180 000 people dead, the Iraqi High Tribunal said on Tuesday. Similar charges are also being laid against six co-defendants.

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/ 21 March 2006

Bush: US will ‘not abandon Iraq’

Iraq entered the fourth year of war on Tuesday amid fears of civil war, as United States President George Bush vowed not to ”abandon” the violence-torn country. At least 26 people died in attacks around the country on Monday on the third anniversary of the US-led invasion. In the US, Bush defended his decision to invade Iraq.

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/ 20 March 2006

Iraq enters fourth year of war

Iraq marked the third anniversary of the United States-led invasion on Monday with a fresh spate of killings, a deadlock over the new government and warnings of civil war as Shi’ites gathered in the south for a major religious ceremony. US and Iraqi forces were on high alert to avert Sunni extremist attempts to trigger renewed outbursts of communal strife.

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/ 16 March 2006

Saddam trial hitting its stride at half-time

As the stormy trial of ousted Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein reaches its halfway point, the nature of the prosecution case is finally beginning to emerge, but grave concerns over the court’s procedure and impartiality remain. The court adjourned on Wednesday for three weeks while the three-judge panel reexamines the evidence and drafts specific charges against the eight co-defendants.

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/ 17 February 2006

Insurgents split over spilling Iraqi blood

After a grisly series of civilian deaths from bombings in downtown Samarra, Hekmat Mumtaz, leader of the Al Bu Baz tribe, met local al-Qaeda commander Abu Abdullah and asked him to halt operations inside population centres. Mumtaz had himself been released only a month earlier after spending a year in United States detention facilities.