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Iraq: Al-Basrah Bomb Kills At Least Four Iraqis

Baghdad, 11 November 2003 (RFE/RL) -- Iraqi police say a bomb planted on a road in the southern city of Al-Basrah exploded today, killing at least four Iraqis. Police say at least three more Iraqis were injured in the blast, which occurred as civilian vehicles were passing by.

The incident came one day after U.S. national security adviser Condoleezza Rice said most of Iraq is "stable" and that the United States will be able to resolve security problems.

Rice said that "major combat" has not resumed in Iraq, despite an increase in attacks on U.S. coalition troops in the country.

More than 250 U.S. soldiers have died in Iraq -- from attacks, accidents or other causes -- since U.S. President George W. Bush declared on 1 May that major combat operations had ended.

In other news, the head of the U.S.-appointed interim municipal council in the mainly Shi'ite-populated Baghdad district of Sadr City has been shot and killed in an altercation with U.S. troops.

The U.S. military said in a statement that Muhanad al-Kadi was killed after he got into a confrontation with a U.S. soldier guarding the council headquarters.

The statement blamed the altercation on al-Kadi's refusal to follow the instructions of the security officer, who the statement said was enforcing regulations in accordance with the U.S. rules of engagement.