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Britain: Iraq Security Handover Could Start Next Year

4 July 2005 (RFE/RL) -- British Defense Secretary John Reid said today the U.S.-led coalition may be able to start handing over security responsibilities to Iraqi forces in one year.

Reid told BBC radio that he agreed with U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's recent assessment that the insurgency might continue for a number of years. But Reid said Iraqi security forces might be able to lead the fight "within a year."

He said the coalition was involved in a "major struggle" but had made "huge progress" with elections last January and a transitional assembly set up.

In Iraq today, a car bomb killed two civilians in Baghdad.

Also, in the northern city of Mosul, officials with the Kurdish Democratic Party say a senior party member, Jirjis Mohammed Amn, was shot dead.