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Iraq: Turkish Premier Says No Deployment Without Iraqi Consent

Dushanbe/Baghdad; 23 October 2003 (RFE/RL) -- Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan today said that Turkey will not send troops to Iraq without Iraqi consent. The Associated Press quotes Erdogan as saying Turkey is "not going to send troops to Iraq without the consent of the Iraqi Governing Council."

Erdogan was speaking during a visit to the Tajik capital Dushanbe.

The United States has asked the Turkish government to send troops to Iraq. But Turkey faces opposition at home and among members of Iraq's U.S.-installed Governing Council who have said Turkish troops in Iraq will not help the security situation there.

In Baghdad, the U.S. military says one U.S. soldier was killed and two wounded today when their convoy was hit by an explosion near Baquba, north of Baghdad.

U.S. Central Command said the soldiers from the 4th Infantry Division had been hit by an improvised explosive device in the latest in a series of attacks on U.S. occupying forces.

The death brings to 105 the number of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq since Washington declared major conflict over on 1 May.

U.S. troops also killed two Iraqis and wounded one other in northern Iraq today when an American post was attacked.

U.S. officials earlier said a bomb exploded near a pipeline in northern Iraq today, killing two Iraqi Civil Defense Corps members and wounding 10 others.