Two hotels, where foreign workers and journalists stay were hit by rockets launched by insurgents. Three security guards were injured after one of the rockets dropped into the parking lot of one of the hotels. Earlier, two Turks and a Pakistani kidnapped here last week were released, reports New York Times.
Meanwhile, Iraq's neighbor - Yemen became the second Arab country to offer to send troops into Iraq, now that sovereignty has been officially passed to a new Iraqi government. On Thursday, King Abdullah of Jordan, which borders Iraq to the west, said that he would be willing to send troops to help tamp down violence in Iraq. According to the Voice Of America, the new government, which took power on Monday, did not make any official statement on the two offers. But in the past, Iraqi officials have said they did not want to host troops from neighboring countries and, in fact, actively blocked an American plan last year to deploy Turkish troops here.
The Jordanian leader said the newly installed Iraqi administration is made up of strong and courageous people, who need international help to deal with what he called "their major problem" of insecurity.
"Now that there's an Iraqi interim government, and we hope a fully independent process very soon in Iraq, I presume, if the Iraqis ask us for help directly, it will be very difficult for us to say no,” King Abdullah said. “My message to the president and the prime minister is, 'tell us what you want.' Tell us how we can help, and you have 110 percent support from us. If we don't stand with them, if they fail, then we all pay the price."
This decision was very much welcome by the U.S. government. In a talk with reporters, Deputy State Department Spokesman Adam Ereli said neither Jordan nor Yemen had discussed their intentions with the United States, but that their interest in helping bolster security in Iraq is commendable:
"We certainly commend both countries for their offers of assistance," Mr. Ereli said. "We've long said that it's important that the international community do what it can to support Iraq, and the interim Iraqi government as it moves to establish security and democratize. Obviously, it's up to each country to determine what it can do. But the fact that Iraq's neighbors are moving in this direction is certainly something that's positive."
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