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Iraq: Bremer Returns To White House For Urgent Talks

Baghdad, 12 November 2003 (RFE/RL) -- The top U.S. civil administrator in Iraq, L. Paul Bremer, returned at short notice to Washington yesterday for a meeting with top officials. The meeting comes after three rockets were fired at the compound housing the U.S-led administration in the Iraqi capital Baghdad last night. The attack caused damage to vehicles but no reported deaths or injuries.

Bremer cancelled a planned meeting in Iraq with Polish Prime Minister Leszek Miller to return to the White House.

AP reports Bremer met with Secretary of State Colin Powell, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, and other key officials. No details have emerged from the meeting.

Correspondents say the White House has growing concerns about the performance of the Iraqi Governing Council, and in particular the lack of progress toward a 15 December deadline to set a timetable for writing a new constitution and holding democratic elections.

With attacks mounting, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez, said the number of attacks against troops occupying Iraq has risen to 30 a day. Sanchez said U.S. troops would "get pretty tough," warning that he would not hesitate to use any weapon at his disposal.