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Iraqi lawmakers press for vote on a timetable

By TIMES WIRES
Published May 11, 2007


BAGHDAD - Radical Shiite politicians pressed Thursday for legislation demanding a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S.-led troops and a freeze on the number of foreign forces already in the country - even as the U.S. Congress debates the fate of the troubled mission. The proposed Iraqi legislation, drafted by the parliamentary bloc loyal to anti-American Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, was signed by 144 members of the 275-member house, according to parliamentary officials. The Sadrist bloc, which holds 30 parliamentary seats, has pushed similar bills before, but this would be the first time it persuaded a majority of lawmakers to sign on. The measure has not yet been introduced in Parliament.

 

Cheney tells troops longer stays 'vital'

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - Vice President Dick Cheney told U.S. troops in Iraq on Thursday that he knows they're suffering hardships from extended deployments but that the longer stays are "vital to the mission." His words were greeted with restrained applause at a rally on a U.S. military base near Saddam Hussein's former hometown of Tikrit. On his second day in Iraq, Cheney also held classified meetings with U.S. military leaders and emerged repeating the words of the top U.S. commander in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus, that "we can expect more violence." From Iraq, Cheney flew to this Persian Gulf nation, the second stop on a trip that will include visits to Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan to persuade allies to do more to stabilize Iraq.

 

City on crackdown after attacks

SAMARRA - U.S. and Iraqi troops have imposed a strict security crackdown in Samarra, a stronghold of the Sunni insurgency, prompting residents to complain that basic necessities such as drinking water have not reached the city for seven days. The strictures follow incidents last week when militants linked to al-Qaida in Iraq flew black flags in the streets of the city and a suicide car bomber rammed a car into the police headquarters on Sunday, killing 12 officers, including the police chief, Col. Jaleel Nahi Hassoun, and disabling the water system.

Elsewhere

Baghdad: Around 3 a.m. Thursday, American planes raided Sadr City, killing three civilians and injuring 12. Three houses and three cars were heavily damaged.

Kirkuk: About 9:15 p.m., a roadside bomb exploded near a house downtown, injuring three residents.

- About 6 a.m., Iraqi army troops and police raided Hay al-Askari and Tanak in Hawija, west of Kirkuk. They arrested four men.

- Iraqi army troops and police raided Hawija and found a human head. They found later that it belonged to an Iraqi army captain, kidnapped two weeks ago.

Arsab: Around 8 p.m., gunmen clashed with a British patrol near the Iranian consulate. A civilian was killed and two others were injured.