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Annan To Send Team To Iraq When It's Secure

Paris, 27 January 2004 (RFE/RL) -- UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan says he has decided to send a UN technical team to Iraq to determine the feasibility of holding elections there before 30 June.

Annan issued a statement in Paris saying he will send the team as soon as he is satisfied that the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority will provide adequate security.

"As you know, there is a certain impasse on the ground in Iraq today, and I have decided to send in a mission that will undertake this task [of determining the feasibility of direct elections]," he said.

In Iraq today, security remained a live issue. The U.S. military said that roadside bombings killed three U.S. soldiers in Khaldiys, 95 kilometers west of the capital Baghdad.

Officials also said today that guerillas shot dead two Iraqi policemen late yesterday at a checkpoint in Al-Fallujah, 50 km west of Baghdad. And in Baghdad today, the U.S. military said soldiers discovered an unexploded car bomb in a parking lot close to the offices of the U.S.-appointed Iraqi Governing Council.

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