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Monday, June 28, 2004
This should be an interesting week in Iraq. First we have this little surprise...
The U.S.-led coalition transferred sovereignty to an interim Iraqi government on Monday, speeding up the move by two days in an apparent bid to surprise insurgents who might have tried to sabotage the step toward self rule.
The new interim government was sworn in six hours after the handover ceremony. The Arab world voiced cautious optimism, but maintained calls for the U.S. military to leave the country quickly.
Members of interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi’s Cabinet each stepped forward to place their right hand on the Quran and pledged to accept their new duties with sincerity and impartiality. Behind them, a bank of Iraqi flags lined the podium.
“Before us is a challenge and a burden and we ask God almighty to give us the patience and guide us to take this country whose people deserves all goodness,” said President Ghazi al-Yawer after taking his oath. “May God protect Iraq and its citizens.”
No better way to avoid a well-timed terrorist uprising than to precede it by two days.
And then this rumor (refuted by the U.S. military)...
The United States on Monday denied a report that the most wanted terror suspect in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, had been captured.
"That is false," said an aide to Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmit, the deputy chief of operations. "I can tell you that Zarqawi has not been arrested. We just checked with the unit."
Al-Zarqawi was rumored to have been picked up in Hillah, a predominantly Shiite city 60 miles south of Baghdad, the scene of a bloody car bombing Saturday night that killed about 20 people.
Somtimes, rumors are true. Sometimes, they are false. If indeed Zarqawi has been apprehended, this would be a major coup for Iraq, and the U.S.
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