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Iraq: U.S. To Address Order And Security

Baghdad, 16 May 2003 (RFE/RL) -- U.S. officials say they are focusing more on restoring order and security in Iraq. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld yesterday said the U.S. military is making plans to increase its presence in the Baghdad region.

Paul Bremer, the new U.S. civil administrator in Iraq, yesterday said life in Baghdad is returning to normal. But he said there remains what he described as "a serious law and order problem" in the capital.

"Since I arrived on Monday [12 May], I have traveled around Baghdad every day, and I have seen shops opened and people going about their lives. But, there is a serious law and order problem. We will continue to address it," Bremer said.

U.S. Major General Buford Blount, commander of the 3rd Infantry Division, yesterday said there appears to be no remaining organized resistance from supporters of deposed Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. He said about 90 percent of the security problems in Baghdad are due to common criminals.

Also yesterday, U.S. forces said they captured another person on its list of 55 most-wanted former Iraqi officials. The official -- captured during a raid on Hussein's hometown of Tikrit -- has not been identified.

The U.S. military says they now have in captivity more than 20 people on the most-wanted list.