Monday, Jul 21, 2003
Front Page |
Southern States |
Other States |
Advts: Classifieds | Employment | Obituary |
The day also witnessed grenade and small arms fire against a U.S. convoy in northern Iraq, killing two soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division and injuring another. The Governing Council, shepherded into existence by L. Paul Bremer, the U.S. administrator for Iraq, was announced last Sunday, saying its first order of business was the election of a president. But when that did not happen after six days in session, officials of the Iraqi Government said that it would share the leadership job among at least three of 25 members.
A Western diplomat, who works closely with the Council, said the decision to establish a rotating presidency did not reflect political divisions among members of the governing body, whom, he said, were cooperating well despite their religious and ethnic differences. The diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the move to form a joint presidency meant the job would be largely symbolic.
The move clearly reflected unwillingness among Council members to vest too much authority in any one of them.
Mr. Bremer, meantime, left Baghdad unannounced on Friday and was expected to be in Washington for about a week. His Baghdad office said the 61-year-old former diplomat and counter-terrorism expert would be in the U.S. capital for consultations. He also was scheduled to appear on three weekly U.S. television interview programmes.
Meanwhile, about 4,000 Shiite Muslims marched on the U.S. headquarters in the southern city of Najaf to protest America's presence in the holy city, and voice support for a hardline cleric who has criticised the Governing Council and threatened to raise his own army. The attack on the U.S. convoy occurred near Tal Afar, just west of the northern city of Mosul and about 400 km northwest of Baghdad. There were no reported enemy casualties and no arrests were made. The deaths bring to 151 the number of American soldiers killed in action since the March 20 start of the war, four more than the total killed in the 1991 Gulf war.
Most of the recent violence has occurred in an area north and west of Baghdad called the Sunni triangle, where some support for Saddam Hussein remains. Mosul is north of the Sunni triangle and has not been the site of much previous violence.
Also Sunday, an official for the United Nations said a convoy carrying members of the world body to the southern city of Hilla came under fire. It was not clear if there were any casualties.
As casualties mounted, the commander of coalition troops in Iraq said his forces were studying each attack carefully. ``We learn from every engagement in order to learn to beat the enemy. AP
The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | The Sportstar | Frontline | The Hindu eBooks | Home |
Copyright © 2003, The
Hindu. Republication or redissemination of the contents of
this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of