Report From the Arab Press

Collated by A.

May 25, 2004

Iraqis furious after holiest shrine attacked

The shrine of Imam Ali Bin Ibi Talib, Prophet Mohamad's cousin, and fourth Moslem Caliph, in the holy historical city of Najaf, the second holiest shrine for millions of Moslems was attacked by several rockets. Arab satellite TV quoted Religious leaders as saying that it was the American occupation forces which shelled the holy shrine causing damage and the killing of 2 and injuring 38 worshipers inside. Hundreds of bewildered Iraqis immediately came to the scene of the blast to express their indignation and anger at the American occupation.

alArabiya TV said tension prevails in Najaf after the attack on the holy shrine. Meanwhile an Iraqi doctor at Najaf hospital said 9 dead Iraqis and scores of wounded were brought to his hospital today. He was quoted by al-Jazeera TV as saying many patients in the operating theater and child wards were nearly hit before being hastily removed elsewhere when the two halls came under attack by American snipers and armored vehicles.

US forces complete destruction of a mosque

It was reported that American occupation forces committed yet another act against Iraqis dearly-held holy places in Iraq. al-Arabiya TV reported that American occupation forces completed the destruction of the al-Mukhayam mosque in the holy city of Karbala by blowing it up with explosives. A few days American soldiers stormed the al-Sahla historical mosque, which is more than 500 years old in Kufa. In Falluja, American occupation forces didn't hesitate to bomb mosques, thus escalating anti-American feelings among Iraqis and other Moslems.

Resistance Attack US-recruited 'traitors' reported a large-scale campaign by the Iraqi resistance movement to liquidate American-recruited Iraqi informers whose main task is to report to American occupation forces about suspected resistance fighters. al-Jazeera said: "In the western town of al-Qaiem, resistance fighters have so far killed 70 traitors who inflicted a lot of damage on the people of the town."

In the northern city of Mosul, the al-Jazeera said Iraqi policemen who accompanied American occupation forces patrols were target of many attacks by resistance. "Now Iraqi policemen refuse to go with American patrols after they had become target of attacks." They added that resistance fighters have been targeting agents of American occupation forces, especially those policemen who carry out occupation orders against their compatriots.

In al-Mahmoodiya, south of Baghdad the Net reported that the resistance would warn 'agents' and would only liquidate them if they continue their 'treason'. The Net explained that occupation forces manipulated the poverty they had spread among millions of Iraqis by trying to recruit some who are driven by poverty to this dirty and risky job.

Bush's speech fell on deaf ears in Iraq
Draft UN resolution criticized by all

alJazeera TV reported from Baghdad that President Bush's speech fell on deaf ears in Iraq. "Politicized Iraqis said it brought nothing new and expressed deep suspicion about the power transfer." It quoted the pro-western politician Sherif Ali bin alHussein, head of the Royal Constitutional Movement as saying: "All evidence underlines the fact that the process of power transfer is an illusionary one. It's a continuation of occupation but under another cover." The Qatari TV added that some Iraqis didn't hear about the speech and the Anglo-American draft UN resolution, some criticized both and insisted that only by withdrawal of occupation forces can Iraqis restore freedom, security, and sovereignty.

No one seemed happy about the so-called strategy spelled out by President Bush and his UN diplomats. The Lebanese al-Manar TV said even the US-picked Interim Governing Council announced its disappointment at the draft resolution because, among other things it didn't set a date for withdrawal. Ammar alHakeem, member of a pro-Iran Supreme Council of Islamic Revolution which has been cooperating with American occupation, severely criticized the draft resolution for failing to hand over sovereignty.