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Militants Claim Responsibility for Iraq Assassination - 2004-11-01


An Iraqi militant group has claimed responsibility for the assassination of the deputy governor of Baghdad.

Hours after Monday's drive-by shooting, the militant Army of Ansar al-Sunna said it carried out the killing. The group also warned it will attack anyone who cooperates with the Iraqi government or its allies.

Meanwhile, Iraqi President Ghazi al-Yawar is criticizing coalition plans to attack insurgents in the rebel-held city of Fallujah.

Mr. al-Yawar's published comments contradict those of Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, who warned the city Sunday to hand over foreign militants or face an all-out military assault.

The Iraqi president said negotiators should continue dialogue with Fallujah leaders, until U.S. forces massed outside the city are replaced by Iraqi troops. Once that occurs, he said, he believes Iraqis will stop supporting the insurgency.

Meanwhile, U.S. artillery has shelled suspected insurgent positions in Fallujah after U.S. warplanes bombed targets in the city late Sunday.

Also today, Iraqi officials kicked off a national voter-registration campaign for national elections due in January.

Information for this report is provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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