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Iraq: Bush Urges UN To End Sanctions

Baghdad, 17 April 2003 (RFE/RL) -- U.S. President George W. Bush has called for an end to UN economic sanctions on Iraq. In a speech yesterday in St. Louis, Bush said now that Iraq is liberated, the UN should lift the sanctions imposed in 1990 after Iraq invaded Kuwait.

The White House said the U.S. will propose a UN resolution to end the sanctions "in the near future" and Washington's UN Ambassador John Negroponte said Washington envisioned a "step-by-step procedure."

General Tommy Franks, who directed the war in Iraq, flew in to Baghdad airport, met with troops and military commanders, and gave Bush a progress report via video conference from one of Saddam Hussein's abandoned palaces.

Although relatively calm, there were incidents of violence and looting in Baghdad and a desperate shortage of electricity, water, and medical care in the heavily bombed capital.

Franks said water and power were being restored and hospitals were going back to work after days of anarchy.

U.S. officials announced the U.S. administration that will rule the country for the time being would give Iraqi civil servants a $20-per-person emergency payment within days.

U.S. Marines launched spot raids around Baghdad in search of people linked to Saddam Hussein, who has vanished along with his two sons, Uday and Qusay, and most of his ruling elite.

They searched several homes in the city, including that of a scientist wanted for working on weapons of mass destruction. It was not clear whether the home searched was that of Suda Salih Mahdi Ammash, known by U.S. intelligence as "Mrs. Anthrax," or Rihab Taha, nicknamed "Dr. Germ."