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Top Candidate for Iraqi PM Drops Out of Race


The race for Iraq's new prime minister has tightened after one of two top Shi'ite candidates dropped out of the contest.

The party representing Interim Finance Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi says it withdrew his name Tuesday to preserve unity in the United Iraqi Alliance. The Shi'ite group won 48 percent of the vote in last month's election for a national assembly.

This leaves Ibrahim al-Jaafari, a former London-based opposition figure, as the likely new front-runner. Mr. al-Jaafari told the Associated Press Tuesday that if he becomes the new prime minister, he would not push for a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq any time soon.

Meanwhile, the U.S. military says an American soldier was killed in action Tuesday in the restive Anbar province, west of Baghdad.

Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.

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