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Iraq Extends State Of Emergency

4 March 2005 -- Iraq is moving into its fifth month under an official state of emergency.

Interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi today extended the state of emergency until the end of March.

The emergency decree, first announced last November, gives the government the right to impose curfews and extra powers to make arrests.

No reason was given for the extension, but Iraq continues to experience regular insurgent attacks.

At least five police officers and one civilian were reported killed today in two suicide car bombs outside Iraq's Interior Ministry in Baghdad and another car bombing in Ba'qubah.

More than a month after Iraq's 30 January elections, meanwhile, negotiations are still continuing between the Shi'ite Muslim-dominated United Iraqi Alliance and a Kurdish coalition on the makeup of a new government. The two blocs finished first and second in the elections.