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US President George W Bush gets ‘Farewell Boot’ in Iraq

US President George W Bush (In picture) faces the wrath of an Iraqi journalist who hurls his shoes at him during his final visit to Iraq

On his ‘farewell’ visit to Iraq as US President, George W Bush had an unusual ‘encounter’ when an
Iraqi scribe threw two shoes at him, but the agile American leader downplayed the incident, saying “it’s a sign of a free society.”

The journalist, Muntadar al-Zeidi, threw two shoes at Bush — one after another — during a joint news conference with Iraq Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in Baghdad on Sunday (December 14, 2008) and shouted “it is the farewell kiss, you dog”.

“All I can report is a size 10,” the president joked. Bush, who ducked both throws, said he has seen a lot of weird things during his eight-year-long Presidency and that he would term the latest incident as “one of the weirdest”.

“And it was amusing. I mean, I’ve seen a lot of weird things during my presidency and this may rank up there as one of the weirdest. So this happens and it’s a sign of a free society,” Bush said. “But I’m not insulted. I don’t hold it against the government. I don’t think the Iraqi press corps as a whole is terrible. And so, the guy wanted to get on TV and he did. I don’t know what his beef is. But whatever it is I’m sure somebody will hear it,” the US President told ABC channel.

After the incident, Iraqi government said that the scribe, who works with Al-Baghdadia channel which broadcasts from Cairo, has been held for questioning by the Prime Minister’s guards and is being tested for alcohol and drugs. Meanwhile, the television channel demanded the immediate release of its journalist and called the scribe as a “proud Arab and an open-minded man.”

Bush shoe attacker ‘detested America’

The Iraqi journalist who caused a furore when he hurled his shoes at visiting US President George W Bush “detested America” and had been plotting such an attack for months, colleagues said on on Monday (Dec 15, 2008).

Muntazer al-Zaidi, 28, was being hailed as a hero by some after his action against the US President who ordered the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and anti-US demonstrations were being staged in Baghdad and the holy shiite city of Najaf.

“This was a spontaneous action by an Iraqi citizen who was showing his dismay at seeing the President of the country which is occupying our nation,” said Liwaa Sumeissim from the anti-American Sadr movement.

The Iraqi government however branded Zaidi’s actions as “shameful” and demanded an apology from his employer Al-Baghdadia television, which in turn was calling for his immediate release from custody.

One of his colleagues in the Baghdad office of Al-Baghdadia said Zaidi had been planning to throw shoes at Bush if ever he got the chance. “When he said he was going to do it, we didn’t doubt him,” he said.

“Muntazer detested America. He detested the US soldiers, he detested Bush,” said another co-worker who also spoke on condition of anonymity.

An Iraqi lawyer said Zaidi risked a minimum of two years in prison if he is prosecuted for insulting a visiting head of state, but could face a 15-year term if he is charged with attempted murder.

In Cairo, Muzhir al-Khafaji, programming director for Al-Baghdadia television, described Zaidi as a “proud Arab and an open-minded man.” “We fear for his safety,” he told, adding that Zaidi had been arrested twice before by the Americans.

December 16, 2008 Posted by | Attacks, General, USA, USA Related, World News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

War on Mumbai Day 3: Sequence of events so far

30 hrs IST on Wednesday night, terrorists entered the 22-storey Taj hotel and took hostages.

WARZONE MUMBAI: At 21:30 hrs IST on Nov 26, 2008 night, terrorists entered the 22-storey Taj hotel and took hostages.

More than 36 hours on, the war on Mumbai is still in full flow. The situation has been developing minute by minute. Here’s making sense of what’s happened so far.

At 21:30 hrs IST on Nov 26, 2008 night, terrorists entered the 22-storey Taj hotel and took hostages. Mumbai’s Anti-Terrorist Squad reached the area and soon a gunbattle began, punctuated with explosions.

Within minutes of the first gun being fired, there was panic across Southern Bombay. Young, heavily armed terrorists were at various locations – from the CST Station to five star hotels to the very popular Leopold Cafe in Colaba. Eyewitness accounts being collated by intelligence agencies suggest that these terrorists made their way into the heart of city in boats.

At 02:00 hrs IST on Nov 27, 2008, a fire broke out in Taj hotel’s central dome. In the continuing gunbattle, three terrorists were killed by 05:00 hrs IST on Thursday. Some guests were evacuated, but the war was far from over.

Apparently having landed by boat at the nearby Gateway of India, the terrorists split up. They first opened fire at the popular Cafe Leopold before moving to the Taj and Oberoi hotels. A group of terrorists entered the CST Station, fired and lobbed grenades into the crowded. Ten people died in the ensuing mayhem.

The terrorists then moved to the adjacent municipal headquarters and then to Cama hospital, where again they opened fire and lobbed grenades.

The terrorists managed to kill ATS Chief Hemant Karkare, who was supervising operations personally. Along with him were Additional Commissioner of Police, Ashok Kamte and senior police inspector Vijay Salaskar, a crack encounter specialist of the Mumbai Police, both of whom too died in the attack on Cama hospital.

The terrorists then hijacked a police vehicle and drove towards Metro junction, where again they fire into the crowds present there. This group of terrorists were later gunned down by a police team.

While police hunted for the terrorists, the Army, National Security Guard and Naval commandos tried to defuse the hostage situation in the Taj and Oberoi hotels – where some foreigners were being held – and Nariman House through the night.

The Armed Forces have had partial success at the Taj, but the stand off at the Oberoi hotel and Nariman House continues.

November 29, 2008 Posted by | Attacks, General, India Related, World News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment