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Holy City

March 2, 1988 | Times Wire Services
Iraq raised the stakes in the Persian Gulf war today, sending missiles smashing into the Iranian holy city of Qom, seat of the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's religious hierarchy. Iran said it launched three long-range missiles against the Iraqi capital of Baghdad early today in retaliation. One Iranian missile hit Baghdad at daybreak, killing or wounding several civilians, including women and children, and destroying houses, shops and cars, the official Iraqi News Agency said.
October 1, 2012 | By Edmund Sanders, Los Angeles Times
JERUSALEM - If the Messiah descends from the Mount of Olives as foretold in the Bible, America's two biggest Christian broadcasters are well-positioned to cover it live thanks to recent acquisitions of adjacent Jerusalem studios on a hill overlooking the Old City. Texas-based Daystar Television Network already beams a 24-hour-a-day live webcam from its terrace. Not to be outdone, Costa Mesa-based Trinity Broadcasting Network last month bought the building next door. The dueling studios are part of an aggressive push by U.S. evangelical broadcasters seeking to gain a stronger foothold in the holy city.
May 15, 2004 | Alissa J. Rubin and Raheem Salman, Times Staff Writers
In a high-stakes move, U.S. troops confronted fighters loyal to anti-American cleric Muqtada Sadr in this holy city Friday, turning its sprawling cemetery, sacred to the world's Shiite Muslims, into a battlefield. Tanks roared among the tombs, backed by helicopters bristling with guns, in an effort to blast positions held by Sadr's Al Mahdi army, who were using the burial grounds to launch attacks on American troops.
August 31, 2012 | By Edmund Sanders, Los Angeles Times
JERUSALEM - Australian technology investor Kevin Bermeister has had some hits and misses in his career. He founded the popular file-sharing network Kazaa, built Australia's largest video game distributor and was an early investor in Skype. Less successful ventures included the now-defunct Sega World theme park in Sydney and an offshoot of troubled PC-maker Packard Bell. Now he has set his investment sights on Jerusalem. After buying a 185-room hotel and bidding on a troubled Jewish development in East Jerusalem that was about to be sold to a Palestinian billionaire, he has proposed his most ambitious - some say far-fetched - plan: Jerusalem 5800, a 30-year, $30-billion redevelopment blueprint to transform the ancient holy city into a sprawling international tourist hub. The businessman, who is Jewish, envisions 50,000 new hotel rooms, a new international airport in the West Bank and an underground metro line running through the city's archaeologically rich terrain.
February 9, 1993 | From Associated Press
An Iranian-chartered airliner with 132 people on board collided with an air force jet after takeoff Monday from Tehran's main airport and exploded in a fireball as it plummeted into a military compound. There were no survivors on the jetliner, and the warplane's crew of two is believed to have been killed. The Russian-piloted TU-154 jetliner was bound for the northeastern Shiite Muslim holy city of Mashhad, and most of its 119 Iranian passengers were pilgrims.
January 5, 1986 | TOD ROBBERSON, Reuters
The holy city of Najaf provides one of the ironies of the Persian Gulf War--for 14 years it was home to Iran's current spiritual leader, the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who now seeks the overthrow of the Iraqi president. "When he left here, nobody knew he would lead the Islamic revolution in Iran," said Ismail Abdul-Majid, director of the 300-year-old Imam Ali mosque, which Khomeini visited daily for prayer and meditation.
April 17, 1997 | GASSER HATHOUT, Gasser Hathout is chairman of the Muslim Public Affairs Council in Los Angeles
"O pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee." (From the Church of England's "Book of Common Prayer," 1662.) Thus began an August 1995 article in the Minaret, a leading Islamic magazine in the United States, emphasizing the point that Muslims, too, love and revere the city of Jerusalem. In recent times, however, love of the Holy City, a sacred site to Judaism, Christianity and Islam, has resulted in neither peace nor prosperity.
June 11, 2004 | Peter Y. Hong, Times Staff Writer
Followers of Shiite Muslim cleric Muqtada Sadr attacked and briefly seized a police station in Najaf on Thursday, the second truce violation in troubled Iraqi cities in two days. Six Iraqis were killed in the fighting that erupted a week into a cease-fire between Sadr's forces and U.S. troops, who had been battling in the holy city. The fighting came a day after a skirmish in Fallouja between another band of insurgents and a U.S.-appointed Iraqi force broke a shaky peace in that city. Brig. Gen.
September 17, 1995 | SARAH SHAPIRO, Sarah Shapiro is a Jerusalem-based writer who grew up in Los Angeles
King David never wrote psalms about them. The Jewish soldiers in the Six-Day War, fighting to recapture from Jordan the ancient Temple's Western Wall, weren't longing for them. And the Oslo accord was signed, sealed and delivered without any reference to cheeseburgers. Even when Burger King opened a Jerusalem franchise a few years back, followed shortly by a Wendy's, there was nary a cheeseburger in the Holy City.
The establishment of diplomatic relations between the Vatican and the state of Israel is a momentous event because it normalizes relations between the Roman Catholic Church and the Jewish people after 2,000 years. It brings together the spiritual children of Rome, the Eternal City, and the spiritual children of Jerusalem, the Holy City, in an extraordinary way. In AD 70, the Roman Empire ended Jewish sovereignty in the land of Israel by destroying Jerusalem's Holy Temple.
September 26, 2011 | By Raheem Salman
Four bomb blasts rocked Karbala on Sunday, killing at least 10 people less than two weeks after 22 pilgrims from the Shiite holy city were shot to death in a bus hijacking in remote western Iraq. The explosions took place in an area of Karbala close to an Iraqi government building where ID cards are issued. The attacks, in which at least 95 people were injured, occurred during rush hour. Prime Minister Nouri Maliki, a Shiite Muslim, called the bombings "gruesome" and promised a thorough investigation.
January 9, 2011 | By Ned Parker, Saad Fakhrildeen and Raheem Salman, Los Angeles Times
His beard now flecked with gray, Muqtada Sadr studied the thousands of faithful who pushed and jostled one another Saturday, craning their necks for a glimpse of the mysterious cleric they hadn't seen in person in nearly four years. In his first appearance in this holy city since returning to Iraq three days before, the firebrand Shiite Muslim preacher faced a defining moment: how to harness his followers, whose wild energy he had ridden until his organization spiraled out of control during Iraq's civil war. If his old speeches had been warlike, urging rebellion against the Americans, his tone Saturday was measured and controlled, acknowledging the harshness of Iraq's war in the streets and the suffering of all Iraqis.
March 7, 2010 | By Saad Fakhrildeen and Ned Parker
A car bomb ripped through a parking lot used by pilgrims in the Shiite holy city of Najaf on Saturday, killing three people in an attack that was almost certainly intended to ignite sectarian passions the day before Iraqis go to the polls. Two Iranians and an Iraqi were killed in the explosion about 300 yards from the Imam Ali shrine, one of the holiest sites in Shiite Islam. The attack near an Iranian tour bus also wounded 54 people, 19 of them Iranians, police said. The parliamentary elections Sunday find Iraqis choosing between secular and religious politicians, and hoping to close the door on a return to the sectarian war that crippled the country from 2005 to '07. In televised comments, the reclusive Shiite cleric Muqtada Sadr, who is thought to be in Iran, urged his supporters to vote.
March 5, 2010 | By Saad Fakhrildeen
A car bomb exploded in the Shiite holy city of Najaf early Saturday, killing three people and wounding 54 others on the eve of Iraq's national elections, police said. The car detonated in a parking lot used by religious pilgrims, about 900 feet from the Imam Ali shrine, one of the holiest sites in Shiite Islam. The attack was almost certainly aimed at igniting sectarian passions among the country's Shiite majority population 24 hours before voting commences. The attack killed two Iranians and one Iraqi and left 19 Iranians among the wounded in the lot, where an Iranian tour bus had parked, police said.
December 22, 2009 | By Ramin Mostaghim and Borzou Daragahi
Tens of thousands of opposition supporters took to the streets Monday in Iran's main theological center and clashed with pro-government militiamen during the funeral of the country's top dissident cleric, Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri. The demonstration in the city of Qom was significant both for its important location and its merging of several currents in Iran's population: It drew older supporters of Montazeri from smaller cities and towns in the countryside as well as young middle-class urbanites from the capital.
October 4, 2009 | Associated Press
As the head of the U.N. nuclear monitoring agency arrived in Iran on Saturday, the country's president declared that it had reported the existence of a new nuclear site earlier than required. Mohamed ElBaradei, director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, is in Tehran to arrange an inspection of the uranium enrichment facility near the holy city of Qom. The revelation that Iran has been building the nuclear plant has heightened the concern of the United States and many of its allies, which suspect that Tehran is using a civilian nuclear program as a cover for developing weapons-making capability.
June 5, 1992 | GEORGE WEIGEL, George Weigel is president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington.
The Psalmist's admonition to "pray for the peace of Jerusalem" is as apt now, on the 25th anniversary of the holy city's reunification, as it was three millennia ago. There was little peace in Jerusalem in the 19 years before 1967, for the truce line established at the end of Israel's War of Independence quickly hardened into a set of grotesque barriers that prefigured the Berlin Wall.
Tens of thousands of right-wing Jews flooded the streets of this city late Saturday and early today, clashing with police to protest the government-sanctioned return of Yasser Arafat and vowing to prevent the PLO chairman from ever setting foot in this holy city. The protesters, egged on by fiery speakers at a two-hour rally at Zion Square, launched a march after midnight along streets bordering Palestinian East Jerusalem and the Old City.
January 14, 2009 | Tim Rutten
At some point, there's a large and interesting essay to be written on why so much of the most interesting new English-language fiction comes to us from Indian and Irish writers. When it is, there ought to be a substantial section devoted to Patrick McCabe, who is superficially the most visceral and, in fact, one of the most clever of the entire glittering Celtic contingent. "The Holy City" is his ninth novel and, at first blush, may seem like a curious return to a well-plowed field.
April 20, 2008 | Ned Parker, Raheem Salman and Saad Fakhrildeen, Times Staff Writers
Clerics and politicians speak in hushed tones about the names drawn up for assassination. Guards stand outside their compounds clutching assault rifles, and handguns rest on desks. No one can be trusted. All sides fear that dark times are coming to Najaf, the spiritual capital of Iraq's Shiite Muslims.
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