Roadside bombings killed four American soldiers in Baghdad, the U.S. command said Wednesday, as U.S. and Iraqi troops stepped up pressure on Sunni insurgents before this week's start of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.
Iraq's interim prime minister also warned Wednesday that U.S. and Iraqi forces will launch military operations in the main insurgent stronghold &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/accidents/ 21/93/375/13145_Fallujah.html ' target=_blank>Fallujah if residents do not hand over Jordanian terror mastermind Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, whose group has kidnapped and beheaded numerous foreigners, reports CBC News.
Despite the violence, the government continued negotiations with Fallujah leaders aimed at restoring calm while the disarming of Shiite militiamen gathered pace despite US warnings of rifts in rebel cleric Moqtada Sadr's movement.
There was also some positive news regarding &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/accidents/21/96/382/14301_dvd.html ' target=_blank>hostages, with two Lebanese men reportedly freed while France said two journalists seized in August were still alive.
At a donors conference in Tokyo, interim Deputy Prime Minister Barham Saleh told representatives of some 55 countries and organisations that donors should waive Iraq's crushing debt from the Saddam Hussein era and called on the &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/mailbox/22/101/399/14248_Annan.html ' target=_blank>United Nations to increase its presence in Baghdad.
"We need more UN support and we need it now. Please don't let the Iraqi people down," Saleh told the opening of the two-day conference, the first such gathering since Iraq regained its sovereignty in June, informs Turkish Press.