Iraqis urge UN to end US rule by June
BAGHDAD: Iraq’s interim authority has submitted a timetable for self-rule and asked the UN Security Council for a new resolution that would end the US-led occupation in June.
In a letter to the Security Council on Monday, Jalal Talabani, president of the Iraqi Governing Council, said the Iraqi council would select a “provisional legislative body” no later than May 31, 2004, which would elect a provisional government by the end of June. Then “the Coalition Provisional Authority will be dissolved and the occupation...will end”, Talabani’s letter said.
The head of the US Central Command, General John Abizaid, said Tuesday America’s military presence “will no longer be needed” once the future Iraqi government can guarantee the country’s security.
There will be no respite in US military operations during Eid holidays, Abizaid said Asked about a call Monday by a Sunni Muslim leader for a week-long ceasefire during the Eid feast, Abizaid said “no”.
Three Iraqi insurgents were gunned down by US troops near Fallujah as they planted a roadside bomb on a highway’s central reservation, the US military said Tuesday. Three Iraqis were wounded Tuesday when a booby-trapped bomb planted at the entrance of the main hotel in the northern city of Kirkuk went off, Iraqi police said. Two loud blasts heard in Baghdad early Tuesday were the result of controlled explosions by American troops, the US military said. Police and emergency services were on high alert Tuesday in Najaf ahead of Eid, a local Iraqi official said. —Agencies