U.S. military officials in Iraq say they are delaying a transfer of
security control in western Anbar province to Iraqi forces, originally
due on Saturday, due to concerns about an impending sandstorm.
on weather forecasts Friday, the military says senior American and
Iraqi officials might be unable to join a ceremony that will mark the
transfer of power. Senior provincial official Ahmed Abu Risha, head of
Anbar's U.S.-backed Awakening Council says Iraqi security forces agreed
it would be best to postpone the handover.
A U.S. spokesman
says the delay was not caused by a suicide bomber's attack Thursday on
a municipal office in Anbar. The blast killed 23 people attending a
meeting between local officials and a group of tribesmen opposed to
Separately, the U.S. military says troops have killed
one suspected militant and detained eight others in separate operations
across Iraq. One of the men arrested is suspected of involvement in
the Anbar attack on Thursday.
Violence in Anbar province has
dropped off sharply since 2006. That area of western Iraq will become
the 10th province to revert to Iraqi security control.
Iraqi officials say unidentified gunmen shot and killed a senior judge
as he was driving to his home in eastern Baghdad on Friday. Judge
Kamil al-Showaili headed one of the capital's two appeals courts.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.