Published: Wednesday, April 4, 2007
IRAQ \ Developments
The latest developments in Iraq:
President Bush turned up the rhetorical heat Tuesday on anti-war Democrats in Congress, saying that their insistence on adding troop-withdrawal terms to a war-spending bill risks delaying money that's needed within weeks and could endanger service members in Iraq. In a wide-ranging news conference that also touched on a Supreme Court ruling, gasoline prices and Middle East diplomacy, Bush stressed his belief that Democrats are being "irresponsible" on Iraq. He repeated his threat to veto any bill that contains a troop-withdrawal date, warned that if war-funding legislation isn't signed by mid-April it could force cuts in equipment and training and said further delay could force extended tours of duty for soldiers there.
Citing improved security in the capital, the Iraqi government said Tuesday it was shortening the Baghdad curfew by two hours and would allow citizens to be on the streets until 10 p.m. The easing of the ban on movement around the city coincided with a one-day sharp drop in the number of people known to have been killed in sectarian violence nationwide. According to police and morgue reports, 18 people were killed or found dead Tuesday.
An insurgent group in Iraq posted a video showing a kidnapped German woman and her adult son weeping and pleading for help as the group gave Germany 10 more days to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan or else the hostages would be killed.
Iraq's Sunni deputy prime minister was discharged Tuesday from a hospital in Jordan where he was treated after an assassination attempt last month by a group linked to al-Qaida, the Iraqi ambassador said. Ten days ago, a suicide bomber detonated himself in a small mosque attached to Salam al-Zubaie's home in Baghdad, killing nine people and seriously wounding the deputy prime minister, who is the most senior Sunni official in Iraq's Shiite-led government.
Source: Combined dispatches