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Iraq: Postwar Adminstrator Meets With Kurdish Leader

Al-Sulaymaniyah, Iraq; 22 April 2003 (RFE/RL) -- The U.S.-appointed administrator for postwar Iraq, Jay Garner, today met with one of the two main Kurdish leaders in northern Iraq. Speaking with Jalal Talabani, the head of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, Garner said that the development seen in Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq should become a model for the whole country.

Meanwhile today, many thousands of Shi'ite Muslims were gathering in the city of Karbala, south of Baghdad, to take part in a pilgrimage banned under the regime of Saddam Hussein. Some of the pilgrims protested against the U.S. military presence in Iraq.

Other Shi'ites in Baghdad staged a second day of protests, claiming that U.S. forces had arrested a prominent mullah.

In another development, U.S. Central Command in Qatar said they had captured a former military commander and prime minister, Muhammad Hamza al-Zubeidi, in the city of Hilla. The commander is the eighth of 55 most-wanted Iraqi leaders to be captured by U.S. forces.