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U.S. Secretary Of State Tells Troops To Help Iraqis

11 November 2005 --   U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice made an unannounced trip to Iraq today, visiting the northern city of Mosul and the capital Baghdad to meet with Iraqi officials and U.S. troops.

During a visit to a U.S. military base, Rice encouraged troops to continue their efforts and help the Iraqi people.

"Here in Iraq, we are going to stay committed, because the Iraqis -- a fine and brave, courageous people, a people of great culture, great intellectual breadth, and of a great history -- are going to succeed," Rice said.

In Baghdad, Rice met with Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim Ja'fari. Later, speaking at a news conference with Ja'fari, Rice pointed to the large of numbers of Iraqis who continued to participate in elections as a sign the situation in the country was improving.

Ja'fari criticized Syria for allowing foreign fighters to cross into Iraq and join the insurgency and called on Syrian authorities to make greater efforts to stop the illegal-border crossing.

U.S. Soldiers Killed

Meanwhile, the U.S. military said today that two U.S. soldiers were killed Thursday in combat operations in Khalidyah, some 120 kilometers west of Baghdad.

Today, three Iraqi police were killed when their vehicle was ambushed near Baquba, northeast of Baghdad.

Gunmen also opened fire on the Omani Embassy in Baghdad today, killing an embassy employee and an Iraqi policeman and wounding two others.


RFE/RL Iraq Report

RFE/RL Iraq Report

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