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4 Injured in Mortar Attack against U.S. Baghdad HQ

4 Injured in Mortar Attack against Baghdad Headquarters of US occupation Authority

Spain begins a temporary evacuation of its diplomatic staff in occupied Iraq because of insecurity as the occupation continues to be challenged by daily attacks, that have on many occasions hit civilian installations.

In the latest attack, the Baghdad headquarters of the US authority came under mortar attack. And four US occupation soldiers were wounded. The Pentagon official said that the attack was the second against American facilities in the heart of Baghdad in as many days and underscored the precarious security situation in the city.

US occupation forces killed Wednesday one Iraqi farmer and sole supporter of his family, when they opened random fire while combing an agricultural region in Mokdadiyah north of Baghdad. In Baquba, Iraqi police said that mortar shells hit one of the town's police stations. No casualties were reported.

Meanwhile, the governor of the central Iraqi province of Najaf declared Wednesday an open-ended general strike in the city in protest at the lack of security after a judge was assassinated. Governor Haidar Mehdi Matar al- Mayyali issued the strike call in front of reporters after a meeting with Robert Ford, representative of US occupation administrator Paul Bremer and an officer from the multinational forces controlling the region.

Mayyali demanded that the US-led coalition allow Iraqis to take charge of security. In the US, Republican senator Jim Litch said that the White House made of the most horrible strategic mistakes when they did not take a decisive resolution to withdraw from Iraq.

Litch added that instead of declaring a withdrawal of US occupation forces by the end of next year, the Administration of President George W. Bush is slowly squelching in the Iraqi quagmire. However Bush did not seem to have any intention of a close withdrawal from the war torn country because he allegedly wants to defeat what he calls terrorism.

The Washington Post quoted a senior US official in Baghdad saying that US administrator of occupied Iraq Paul Bremer has decided to conditionally approve the formation of a security force consisting of a few thousand troops under an Iraqi leadership.

The official added that this force will be given the task of pursuing those behind anti US occupation attacks.

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