Bush warned Iran and Syria against meddling in Iraq

U.S. President &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/mailbox/22/98/386/14349_Bush.html ' target=_blank>George W. Bush warned Iran and Syria Wednesday against "meddling" in Iraq after that country's defense minister accused them of helping insurgents and terrorists spread deadly chaos.

Campaigning in Iraq's first national elections since &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/main/2002/04/08/27433.html ' target=_blank>Saddam Hussein ouster also began Wednesday, with interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi announcing his candidacy.

Speaking after a meeting with Italian Prime Minister &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/world/20/91/365/10664_Berlusconi.html ' target=_blank>Silvio Berlusconi, Bush said: "We will continue to make it clear, to both Syria and Iran, that meddling in the internal affairs of Iraq is not in their interest", reports Daily Star.

According to the Swissinfo, a bomb near a Shi'ite shrine and an outspoken attack on Iran by an Iraqi minister have fuelled fears of sectarian strife as campaigning began for Iraq's first free election since the fall of Saddam Hussein.

Eight people were killed in the Muslim holy city of Kerbala and a senior Shi'ite cleric was among 32 wounded. His aides said the target was Sheikh Abdul Mehdi al-Karbalai, a close ally of Iraq's top cleric Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani.

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