BBC World Service ‘Newshour’: Iraqi football’s joyous homecoming

Forced into exile by conflict, Iraq’s football (soccer) team returns to Erbil to play its first home international since the US-led invasion. The mood in the stadium resembles the lifting of a siege, with hopes for sporting glory chiming with a yearning for peace.

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Financial Times Weekend magazine: Policing Kirkuk

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Kirkuk’s anti-terrorist police ride around in battered pickup trucks, keeping a nervous lookout for the bombers that have killed scores of their colleagues. With the American military eying an exit from Iraq, the force has become a central player in a seemingly intractable conflict over land and oil.

I accompanied the officers as they carried out overnight raids in pursuit of an insurgent cell linked to al-Qaeda.

Photographs by Kamaran Najm/Metrography

BBC Radio Four’s ‘The World Tonight’: Georgia’s Iraq gamble

In early 2008, Georgia was the third-largest contributor to the US-led coalition in Iraq, sending thousands of troops to guard the border with Iran.

Tbilisi wanted its deployment to pave the way for eventual entry into Nato. But at a summit in April 2008, the alliance balked at encouraging Georgia’s hopes – a move that would have drawn a furious response from Moscow. Georgia’s war with Russia later that summer was seen by many in the West as a further argument against encroaching on Moscow’s “backyard”.

This report from Tbilisi, produced on the eve of the Nato summit, argued that the Iraq deployment had helped Georgia’s military punch above its weight – even if Nato entry remained beyond its reach.

BBC Radio Four’s ‘From Our Own Correspondent’: Legacy of Bosnia’s jihadis

In the decade before al-Qaeda was deemed a direct threat to the West, a small band of jihadis came to Europe to wage war on behalf of the Bosniak government of besieged Sarajevo.

The Bosniak’s foes, the Bosnian Serbs, are keen to project their wartime cause as a precursor to the US-led “war on terror”. But the jihadis’ legacy is fading and they have few friends today on the streets of secular Sarajevo.