Two US troops killed in Iraq; Bremer: General elections may take place by mid-2004
An American soldier was killed and two were injured by small-arms fire at their base in northern Iraq, it was reported Thursday.
The U.S. Central Command said the troops came under fire at a forward position 80 kilometers northeast of Baghdad at 11:45 p.m. Wednesday. The wounded servicemen were taken to a military hospital for treatment, Centcom said in its statement.
Elsewhere, another American soldier was killed, when his armored personnel carrier hit a land mine on the road from central Baghdad to the city's airport.
In all, 166 Americans have been killed in combat in Iraq, 19 more than died in the 1991 Gulf War.
Meanwhile, Iraq's U.S.-backed governing council could be replaced by an elected government after general elections in less than a year, Iraq's U.S. administrator said.
L. Paul Bremer said he believed a new constitution could be written and accepted by the Iraqi people in a referendum, followed by general elections by the middle of next year.
"It is certainly not unrealistic to think that we could have elections by mid-year 2004," Bremer said while touring the partially refurbished Iraqi Foreign Ministry with members of the interim government he appointed on July 13.
"And when a sovereign government is installed, the coalition authority will cede authority to the government and my job here will be over." (Albawaba.com)
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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