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IraqSide:Media
Daily Column
Iraq Papers Saturday: Mughniyeh in Nasiriya
Iraqi Chaldeans Bid Farewell to their Archbishop
By AMER MOHSEN 03/14/2008 6:00 PM ET
Az-Zaman
Az-Zaman
According to the Lebanese al-Akhbar daily, unknown gunmen in Iraq launched rockets on a US base bearing photos of ‘Imad Mughniyeh, the Hizbollah military commander who was assassinated in Damascus last month.

The paper said that the unidentified group launched four 122-mm Grad missiles on the Tulail base, west of Nasiriya, and that when the police reached the launching site, several unused missiles were found bearing photos of Mughniyeh and “slogans calling for revenge on the Americans and their collaborators,” a “security source” said. The rocket attack was part of several targeting US bases around Nasiriya on Wednesday, including six missiles that were launched from the Bu Fayyad area, which hit the local US base killing three soldiers.

In other news, Az-Zaman reported that hundreds of Iraqis marched in the funeral of Chaledean Archbishop, Bulus Rahho, near the northern city of Mosul. Rahho was found dead two weeks after his abduction, in what seemed to be an attempt to extort the Chaledean community and church. Allegedly, the abductors had contacted Rahho’s family, demanding a Million-dollar ransom, but Police sources denied to Az-Zaman any knowledge of financial negotiations with the kidnappers.

The cleric’s body bore no gunshot wounds, and the paper quoted clerical officials who said that “the cause of death remains undetermined.” Muslim clergymen participated in the funeral, Az-Zaman added, while government officials were notably absent. Reportedly, Rahho’s family asked the police not to provide protection to the procession, in what the paper described as “a protest over the Police’s failure to track the kidnappers ... and save Rahho.”

Lastly, according to al-Quds al-‘Arabi, the President of the Kurdistan Region, Mas’ud al-Barzani, called upon Arab states to “acknowledge the Kurdish Nation after centuries of denial.” Barzani’s comments came at the final session of the Arab Parliamentary Conference, which was hosted in Arbil. The Kurdish leader asked “the peoples of the Arab Nation ... to understand the suffering of the Kurdish Nation,” adding that “constructive dialogue” should be established between the Kurds, Turks and Iranians “to prevent the rise of violence and wars in the region.”

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