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(archive photo) 7 May 2004 -- U.S. troops are maintaining positions in and around Iraq's holy Shi'a city of Al-Najaf today, one day after the military said it killed about 40 fighters loyal to radical Shi'a cleric Muqtada al-Sadr in nearby Kufa.

Yesterday, U.S. troops took control of the governor's mansion in Al-Najaf as L. Paul Bremer, the top U.S. administrator in Iraq, announced the appointment of a new regional governor, Adnan al-Zurufi.

Also yesterday, an audio recording purportedly made by Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden offered rewards in gold for the killing of several officials -- including Bremer, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, and Lakhdar Brahimi, the UN envoy to Iraq.

Later today in Washington, U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is due to testify before two congressional panels about the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by U.S. troops.

Meanwhile, U.S. President George W. Bush said he had told Jordan's King Abdullah during a meeting in Washington yesterday that he was sorry for the humiliation suffered by the Iraqi prisoners and by their families.

(Reuters/AFP/AP)
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