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US Admits Killing US-Appointed Mayor in Iraq


US Military Admits Killing US-appointed Mayor, Another GI Killed

The US-occupation troops in Iraq admitted Tuesday its soldiers shot and killed Mohannad Ghazi al Kaabi, the US-backed mayor of the Muslim Shiite-populated Baghdad district of Sadr City.

The US military said in a statement al Kaabi, died from wounds Sunday after troops shot him when he refused to follow security procedures for entering Sadr City's municipal building. The statement added "During the altercation, a shot was fired, wounding Mohannad in the lower extremities".

Elsewhere, at least eight Iraqi civilians, some of them children, were wounded when a bomb exploded in the centre of Basra on Tuesday.

A British military jeep was damaged in a bomb blast on Sunday. And an American soldier and a Kurdish fighter working with the Iraqi border guard died in separate incidents. An Iraqi senior oil official Mohammed Ahmed Zibari, was injured and his son killed when assailants opened fire on their car in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul.

The Northern Oil Company's distribution manager, was on his way to work when gunmen riddled his car. The top US ground commander in Iraq told reporters Tuesday that the US Black hawk helicopter downed in the northern Iraqi city of Tikrit was shot by a rocket-propelled grenade.

The US occupation forces carried out a night time raid in the Iraqi town of Baqouba in the early hours of Tuesday morning. The 588 Engineering Division went into the southeast suburbs of the town looking for suspects who shot at US occupation forces last week. The troops targeted three houses and found AK-47s, rocket propelled grenades and ammunition.

Six people were arrested and they are to be interrogated next week. AFP news agency said the top US general in Iraq told reporters Tuesday the US military has detained 20 men thought to have ties with Osama bin Laden's Al-Qaeda group.

However, US Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez added the suspected were still under investigation and had not yet been proven to belong to bin Laden's organisation. Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld called on more countries to send troops to Iraq.

He said, "Let me be clear. The goal is not to reduce the number of U.S. forces in Iraq. It's not to develop an exit strategy. Our exit strategy in Iraq is success. It's that simple. The objective is not to leave. The objective is to succeed in our mission. That's why we remain on the offence, doing, going after the terrorists, and regime remnants, rooting them out, and capturing them. And we're doing so with help from a growing number of Iraqis who are participating in the defence of their country."

South Korean President Roh Moo-Hyun and top advisers met Tuesday to discuss sending South Korean forces to Iraq after Washington appealed for more troops to stabilize the war-torn state.

Roh and his National Security Council, including key cabinet members, discussed the timing and size of the Korean contingent during the morning meeting. For its part, the Japanese cabinet is expected to approve the sending of a 1,200- strong force to help rebuild Iraq to coincide with a visit by Rumsfeld.

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