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Senior Iraqi Official Weighs In Over January Vote

26 September 2004 -- Interim Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister for National Security Barham Ahmad Salih said yesterday that his government is committed to hold elections as scheduled in January, but he said that polling might not be possible in all parts of the country.

The statement was the latest in an ongoing public discussion by senior Iraqi and U.S. officials concerning planned national elections amid security concerns in Iraq.

Salih made the remarks in an interview with the AP news agency last night.

Meanwhile, U.S. aircraft carried out a third set of air strikes on the rebel stronghold of Al-Fallujah, targeting a meeting of suspected militants loyal to Jordanian-born Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi.

According to a doctor at a nearby hospital, eight people were killed and 17 wounded in the latest attack.

It was the third set of air strikes in 24 hours, with two bombing raids yesterday killing seven people and wounding 13, including women and children.

In Baghdad today, a rocket landed in a busy street in the center of the city. Unconfirmed reports say one person was killed.

(compiled from wire reports)

Related Stories: "Powell Says Iraqi Insurgency Getting Worse", "Iraqi Grand Ayatollah Insists On January Elections", "U.S. Defense Chief Says Iraqi Voting Might Be Limited", and "Visiting Iraqi Prime Minister Thanks U.S."

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