Developments in Iraq on Tuesday

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

  • Iraq will hold its national conference Saturday, delaying the key event by several days at the request of the United Nations, which said officials were not ready, conference organizers said Tuesday. The gathering, considered a vital step in the nation's democratic transformation, will be attended by 1,000 delegates who will select members of a 100-member interim assembly to help shepherd the nation to its first post-Saddam Hussein elections scheduled for January.

    Four to five mortar rounds landed near Baghdad's Green Zone, the site of Iraq's interim government and the U.S. and British embassies. One hit Salhiya, a nearby neighborhood, killing one garbage collector as he cleared trash and wounding another, residents said. The mortar fire also wounded 14 U.S. soldiers, 11 of whom later returned to duty.

    Gunmen assassinated the assistant director of Mahmoudiya Hospital. Assailants in a car shot Dr. Qassem el-Obaidi as he was driving home from work late Monday, hospital director Dr. Daoud al-Ta'i said.

    In the city of Baqouba, a suicide bomber blew up a car but did not cause any other casualties, Iraqi officials said. Associated Press Television News footage showed mangled wreckage of the car and the bomber's dismembered body.

    Iraqi police arrested two people driving a truck filled with 1,000 mortars and 250 anti-tank mines near the city of Kut, south of Baghdad, said police Col. Ali Ribih Najim.

  • Marines stopped a pickup truck filled with 219 mortar rounds in bags of grain at a checkpoint Monday, the military said. The discovery was the largest cache of mortars seized by Marines since taking charge of Anbar Province in March.

    -- The Associated Press

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