Gunfire erupted across Baghdad and tracer bullets lit the night sky last night, but this was not war, it was joy. Iraq's young footballers have qualified for their first Olympics."
The final home game of the qualifying tournament against Saudi Arabia was played in Amman, the capital of neighbouring Jordan.
Fans glued to television screens erupted in traditional Iraqi manner, blasting Kalashnikov rifles and machine guns into the air when Hawar Taher made it 3-1 a minute from time.
Carloads of men drove crazily round Baghdad, horns blaring.
Qualification looked unlikely after a shaky run that left both Iraq and the Saudis able to go through only if it ended level between Kuwait and Oman in Kuwait City.
A 0 -0 draw there sent Iraq to Athens ahead of Oman, who finished level on points.
TIKRIT, Iraq - Task Force Danger Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 113th Field Artillery, detained an Iraqi Army soldier after finding sketches of a Coalition base in his possession during a shakedown inspection around 2 p.m. May 11.
The Iraqi soldier was taken to a Coalition detention facility for questioning.
Wow, I'm impressed and awed!
Who are you and what's a blogger? I being the computer idiot know barely enough to get around the email.
Did you think this up, because this is awesome.
Susan, mom of many
The Tom Family Education Trust
P.O. Box 2236
Fairfield, Ca. 94533
The young Iraqi cleric leading a month-old Shiite uprising against US occupation says he is prepared to disband his militia army."
However, with a now familiar ambivalence, Moqtada al-Sadr also told a rare news conference at Islam's holiest Shiite shrine he still opposes a US -led occupation he likens to the tyrannical rule of Saddam Hussein.
It was hard to separate face-saving bravado from hard bargaining during the young firebrand's first personal comment on talks in the holy city of Najaf.
Under mounting pressure from rivals in the Shiite establishment and from US forces on the ground, his aides had already pencilled in their agreement to a deal that could end the insurgency.
Four Filipino workers have been killed in Iraq in a mortar attack on a United States military camp, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo said."
The contractors were among more than 1,360 Filipinos working at Camp Anaconda in Balad.
Another Filipino worker was killed by attackers in Iraq at the end of April.
The Philippines, a staunch ally of Washington, also has about 100 police, soldiers and medical personnel assisting in reconstruction efforts in Iraq.
United States troops, backed by tanks and armoured vehicles, have killed up to 25 militiamen loyal to rebel cleric Moqtada al-Sadr in fierce fighting in the holy Shiite city of Karbala, a senior US military officer said."
Locals said the fighting erupted on Tuesday evening (local time) and was still going on as dawn broke, with members of Sadr's Mehdi Army militia holed up in a mosque and surrounded by US forces.
A senior US official in Baghdad said 20 to 25 militiamen were killed and seven American soldiers were wounded.
A relative of mine was forced as the millions of Iraqis to serve in Saddam's army. He was poor and peaceful and couldn't stand the humiliation and the torture that service meant. He lived in Baghdad and served in Basrah. He was paid about 10 thousand Iraqi Dinars a month, which equaled about 5 US $ at that time, while the ride from his place to his unit cost about 2 or 3 thousand Dinars. Above all he had to bribe the sergeants and the officers only to avoid the hell they could make his life there, as they could've made it a lot worse. Others more fortunate paid money to the officer in charge to stay at home and the officer would arrange it to look like they are serving. This may amount to 250-300 thousand Iraqi Dinars a month, and it was a very common practice at that time. And as tens of thousands of Iraqis, he decided to run away. He remained a fugitive for years, hiding from the eyes of the military police. He couldn't see his family more than 2 or 3 times in the year. We helped him find a job and a place to hide where they couldn't find him."
Few days ago I was visiting his family to pay our respect in the 1st annual anniversary of his father's death.
When I saw my relative, and despite the nature of the occasion, I felt happy. Here's a free man.
I smiled as I said, " you must be very happy to be free again, and not fear the MP ".
He said, " you can't imagine! It's like being born again. I've never felt so free before ".
" But what are you doing for a living now? I hope you've found a job ". I asked.
He smiled as he said, " I volunteered in the new army ".
" Really! I thought you'd never wear a uniform after that terrible experience "
he replied " Oh no, this is entirely different ".
I said, " I'm sure it is, but who convinced you to do so!? And when did that happen?"
" A friend of mine who volunteered before I did told me some nice stuff that encouraged me to do the same, so I volunteered about a couple of months ago ". He replied.
" So tell me about it, are you happy with this job?" I asked. ]
" You can't imagine! It's nothing that we've learned or knew about the military life". He answered.
" I expected it to be so, but can you tell me about it" I asked and I didn't have to ask anymore, as my relative started talking excitedly without a stop.
A bomb went off Sunday at a Baghdad (search) hotel used by foreign contractors."
A hotel employee said the blast ripped through the bar and wounded six people described as British and Nepalese nationals.
The extent of their wounds was not yet known.
A 24 -year-old U.S. military policeman will be the first soldier to face a court-martial in connection with the abuse of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison, the military said Sunday."
Spc. Jeremy C. Sivits of Hyndman, Pa., a member of the 372nd Military Police Company, will stand trial in Baghdad on May 19, Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt said.
Sivits has been charged with conspiracy to maltreat subordinates and detainees, dereliction of duty for negligently failing to protect detainees from abuse and cruelty and maltreatment of detainees, Kimmitt said.