7 U.S. Troops Die In Iraq; U.S. Intelligence Chief Visits

November 4th, 2006  
Team Infidel

Topic: 7 U.S. Troops Die In Iraq; U.S. Intelligence Chief Visits

New York Times
November 4, 2006
Pg. 10

By Sabrina Tavernise
BAGHDAD, Nov. 3 — John D. Negroponte, the director of national intelligence, met here with Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki on Friday, the second high-level visit by an American official in a week.
The American military, meanwhile, announced the deaths of seven more American troops. All were killed Thursday, three in a roadside bomb in eastern Baghdad and four in the roiling western province of Anbar in sniper and bomb attacks.
Hidden killing continued across the capital, with 83 bodies and a severed human head found in the two days ending Friday. At least nine other Iraqis died in violence on Friday, Reuters reported, including a freelance journalist, a singer, a taxi driver and a gas station employee.
Mr. Negroponte did not make any public comments in Baghdad, but Mr. Maliki’s spokesman, Yaseen Majeed, said that the two “discussed the need for the Iraqi armed forces to have enough numbers and equipment to take charge of the security portfolio.”
Mr. Maliki’s government has recently sought to exert its independence from what it sees as an overbearing American policy of keeping full control over security here. The visit by Mr. Negroponte, who previously served as ambassador to Iraq, was widely seen as an effort to smooth the ruffled feathers of the Bush administration’s Iraqi partners.
In advance of the verdict on Sunday in the trial of the former dictator, Saddam Hussein, Iraq’s Defense and Interior Ministries have recalled all army and police forces currently on leave, about 25 percent, to prepare for possible violence, said Muhamed al-Askari, a spokesman for the Defense Ministry.
The tale of a kidnapped American soldier took a fresh turn on Friday, with a relative saying that kidnappers had demanded a $250,000 ransom for his release. Entifad Qanbar, a former associate of Ahmad Chalabi, identified himself as the soldier’s uncle and said by telephone from Baghdad that American officials working for his release had met with an intermediary trusted by the kidnappers earlier this week.
Mr. Qanbar confirmed an account of the meeting reported on Time magazine’s Web site, in which Americans were shown a cellphone video clip of the soldier, appearing beaten and bloodied, and given the ransom request. The Americans have asked for proof that the soldier is still alive.
Mr. Qanbar, who said he is the brother of the soldier’s mother, Nawal al-Taie, said he believed the kidnappers were Shiite members of the Baath Party.
The office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said on Friday that it lacked the money to care for the soaring number of Iraqi refugees inside and outside the country. A spokesman, Ron Redmond, told reporters in Geneva that just two-thirds of its $29 million budget had been financed, and that some employees were going without salaries.
About 50,000 Iraqis have moved within the country every month since February, Mr. Redmond said, and the net exodus to other countries, primarily Syria and Jordan, is now running at about 70,000 a month.
The American military said it had killed 13 insurgents in two raids on Friday near the town of Mahmudiya, in the farmland south of Baghdad.

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