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Mosul Buzz: Attack on GIs Provoked By Slap?
Channel Claims 7 US Troops Kidnapped, Mosul Governor Secretly on the Lam?
By DANIEL W. SMITH 03/02/2009 02:00 AM ET

BAGHDAD - Here are a few mostly unconfirmable, yet interesting, items out of Mosul.

Missing Governor
A large part of Mosul’s population appears to be convinced that Ninewa governor Duraid Keshmoula has secretly fled the province “for Kurdistan,” and there is much talk that he has made away with large amounts of money. Before the January 31 elections, he announced that, when his term was up, he would leave Ninewa and live within the Kurdish controlled region of Iraq. This, he said, was due to safety concerns. Though he is still technically in office, he suddenly stopped appearing on local radio and television after the election, and has disappeared from public view altogether.
In violence-racked Mosul where Keshmoula has survived multiple assassination attempts, it is not expected that he would be walking the streets kissing babies, but multiple sources within Mosul say that the change was abrupt. His office did not respond to inquiries. His last known public statement was an interview on Mosul Radio in late January, in which he said, “You, the people of Mosul, will be sorry when I am gone.”

Attack Retribution for Slap by GI?
On Tuesday, Feb. 24, two Iraqi police officers, Saad Ahmad al-Jabouri and Mohammed Muafaq al-Nuaimi, opened fire on American soldiers in Mosul, immediately killing an interpreter, and wounding four of the US troops. One of them died, soon afterward. It is being reported by local media that, earlier, one of the two had been slapped by a US soldier. Apparently, the policeman allowed a civilian vehicle to drive in front of a US convoy at a proximity which was deemed unsafe by American soldiers within the convoy. There was reportedly a confrontation of some kind which ended with the GI slapping a policeman in the face. One of the two shooters is reported to be one of these men. If true, this is the second account (though the first was disputed by the US military) in three months of an Iraqi policeman in Mosul being slapped by a US serviceman, and soon afterward fatally shooting at least one GI. The previous incident occurred on November 12, and left two GIs dead. A US military spokesman told Iraqslogger in an e-mail, “There's no operational information confirming the reports about the IP (Iraqi Police) incident.”

Report of Kidnapped US Soldiers
Al-Rafadain, the Cairo-based Iraqi satellite news channel with a decidedly anti-occupation perspective is reporting that seven US soldiers were kidnapped in Mosul on Friday. They often report exaggerated victories “against the occupiers,” and speak every day of Humvees and tanks being destroyed when no other media outlet has heard of such incidents. They have been continuing with this story for a few days, and keep coming up with new witnesses – and people in Mosul have started talking about it. The story is that all seven members of a dismounted patrol were overtaken and are now held captive by members of al-Qaeda in Iraq. The US military calls the claim “false”.


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