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Leader welcomes Turkey's troops

Compiled from Times wires
© St. Petersburg Times
published September 10, 2003

BAGHDAD - Iraq's acting president on Tuesday called for Turkey to send up to 10,000 peacekeeping troops under a U.N. mandate, providing they deploy far from Kurdish territory. The invitation contradicts the foreign minister.

Entifadh Kanbar, spokesman for Ahmad Chalabi, the member of the Governing Council's nine-member presidency who is serving for September, also said Chalabi had been invited by the Turkish government to pay "a very important visit."

"We are welcoming the participation of Turkish forces under the United Nations resolution ... in the western area in Iraq under the condition that this force should not exceed 10,000," Kanbar said, referring to a resolution proposed by the United States.

U.S. bans Shiites' militias in Najaf

NAJAF, Iraq - The U.S. military commander in this sacred Shiite Muslim city demanded Tuesday that religious factions remove armed followers from the streets by Friday. Dozens of militiamen were deployed here last week in a move the factions said was an attempt to improve security in a city still reeling from a car bomb that killed a senior cleric and scores of others.

The deadline was set at a meeting Tuesday between U.S. military officials and Najaf's political parties, which have complained about a lack of security in the streets. Lt. Col. Chris Woodbridge, the commander of the Marines occupying Najaf, said only Najaf's police force would be allowed to carry weapons in the city, home to Iraq's holiest Shiite shrine.

War boosts risk of terror, more say in polls

WASHINGTON - In a shift of public opinion, more people now say the war in Iraq has increased the risk of terrorism in the United States than say it has reduced the risk, new polls say.

In April, almost six in 10 thought the war in Iraq had reduced the risk of terrorism in this country, twice the number who thought it had made the risk higher. But in a new ABC News poll, 48 percent said the war increased the risk, while 40 percent said it reduced the risk.

A survey by the Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland also found that, by a 2-to-1 ratio, more Americans say the U.S. military presence in the Mideast increases the likelihood of terrorist attacks. Three-fourths of those polled said current foreign policy creates a climate that makes it easier for terrorists to recruit new members and raise money.

British Tories criticize handling of Iraq

LONDON - The main opposition Conservative Party said Tuesday that the government's plans to rebuild Iraq and restore order there were a shambles and warned that British forces were overstretched.

Conservative defense spokesman Bernard Jenkin said "precious little reconstruction work" has taken place in Iraq since the ouster of Saddam Hussein.

Defense Secretary Geoff Hoon acknowledged reconstruction work had been "complicated by looting and sabotage" and by terrorist attacks. But he insisted progress had been made.

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