14 November 2003 XXVI

Khamsin Molossia News

Winter Arrives in Molossia. After a hot summer and a brief autumn, winter arrived in a hurry and in force last week. In the space of a five days, Molossia experienced three separate snowfalls, the first and certainly not the last of the year. Hopefully, winter will follow its usual course, and spare us the real onslaught until January, when it usually hits this region with great fervor. In the meantime, it is time to bundle up, curl up on the couch under a blanket and spend hours playing board games and drinking hot chocolate.

Italian Soldiers Die in Iraq. On November 12th, a truck bomb struck an Italian Army base in southern Iraq, killing 18 Italian servicemen and wounding another 20 in what is being called the worst attack yet on coalition forces. This is the greatest Italian military loss since World War II. The Italians were part of a contingent of 2,400 police and soldiers sent to join the coalition in June. They served in Iraq as part of the occupation of that country following the U.S. sponsored invasion last spring. The Italians had been performing policing and peacekeeping duties in and around the city of Nasiriyah, 380 kilometers (230 miles) southeast of Baghdad. In spite of his nation's grevious loss, Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi has pledged Italy's continued support for the coalition occupation.

His Excellency, President Kevin Baugh has continuously decried the Bush Administration's invasion and occupation of Iraq as illegal, immoral and "simply wrong". Noting that Molossia has a strong Italian heritage, he declared November 13th to be a day of mourning in honor of the fallen Italian servicemen, and directed that the flag be flown at half-staff. In addition, His Excellency urges the Italian people to call on their government, to bring their soldiers home before any further needless fatalities occur.

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