Meanwhile, the militant group Islamic Jihad said it is interrogating a female Italian journalist its members kidnapped in Baghdad on 4 February. The group, which is demanding that Italy pull its troops from Iraq, says it will decide her fate "very soon."
In another development, the Iraqi militant group calling itself the Army of Ansar Al-Sunnah said it killed an Iraqi translator who was working for the U.S. military. The group posted a video on a website of the hostage appealing to other translators to not work for U.S. forces before he was blindfolded and shot in the back of the head.
For the latest news and analysis on Iraq, see RFE/RL's webpage on "The New Iraq".