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British PM says Eventual Probe of Iraq War Involvement Possible


British Prime Minister Tony Blair says he has not ruled out eventually holding an official inquiry into Britain's role in the war in Iraq, but he said now is not the time.

Mr. Blair spoke just hours after his government narrowly defeated a parliamentary motion calling for an immediate inquiry into Britain's involvement in the war.

At his weekly question and answer session in parliament Wednesday, the prime minister said an immediate inquiry would send an unwelcome signal to coalition allies and "dismay" the Baghdad government.

Late Tuesday, lawmakers voted against the proposed inquiry 298 to 273, with 12 members of Mr. Blair's Labor Party voting in favor.

Welsh and Scottish nationalist parties proposed the motion in light of deteriorating security and growing sectarian violence in Iraq.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

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