Explosion in Baghdad as Bush discusses elections with members of Iraqi Governing Council
A loud explosion was heard late Tuesday in central Baghdad, and sirens could be heard from the U.S. compound known as the "green zone." A U.S. spokesman said he had no firm information on the cause of the blast, which occurred about 9:30 p.m., but he believed it was caused by a mortar exploding somewhere in the green zone, The AP reported.
Meanwhile, President Bush stepped up efforts to calm the dispute over transition to self-rule in Iraq, calling in a Shiite leader and also the president of the Iraqi Governing Council in a search for a compromise formula to end the U.S. occupation by July 1.
Bush said he still hoped that timetable would hold, The AP reported. Speaking to reporters outside the White House, Adnan Pachachi, a Sunni who heads the council, said he and other members of the council had a "wide-ranging" discussion for about 40 minutes with Bush. Another member of the Iraqi Governing Council, Shiite leader Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, confirmed the election was the main issue discussed with Bush.
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