U.S. officials announce the capture of a major Palestinian terrorist in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad. Meanwhile, as the fighting in the country subsides, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says U.S. forces have shut down a pipeline used for illegal oil shipments from Iraq to Syria.
Coalition forces in Iraq captured Palestinian guerrilla leader Abu Abbas, who masterminded the hijacking of an Italian cruise ship in 1985. He is reported to be in U.S. custody in or near Baghdad.
Meanwhile, at the Pentagon Tuesday, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld said U.S. forces shut down a pipeline that sent an estimated 200,000 barrels of oil from Iraq to Syria daily, in violation of U.N. sanctions.
"We have been told that they have shut off a pipeline. Whether it's the only one and whether that has completely stopped the flow of oil between Iraq and Syria, I cannot tell you," he said.
In southern Iraq, former Iraqi oppostion groups gathered to discuss the country's future government. The U.S.-sponsored talks ended with an agreement to reconvene in 10 days.
Mr. Rumsfeld made it clear that the future leadership choices will not include anyone who favors Iraq's division, represents foreign interests or was a member in Saddam Hussein's former ruling Baath Party.
"There's no question but that this country has got to go through a de-Baathification process. The Baath Party does not fit the conditions I have described," he said. "We know what they think and, therefore, we know that they ought not to be participants."
Thousands of Shiite Muslims took to the streets to demonstrate against the meeting, which was boycotted by Iraq's main Shiite group, the Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution of Iraq.
Meanwhile, President Bush says a military victory in Iraq is certain, but not yet complete. "The centralized power of the dictator has ended. Yet in parts of Iraq, desperate and dangerous elements remain," he said. "Forces of our coalition will engage these enemies until they surrender or until they are destroyed."
Lingering security concerns are keeping humanitarian groups from working in all parts of the country. The World Food Program's Christiane Bertiaume says the agency has hundreds of thousands of tons of food aid ready to go to Iraq once conditions become safer.
"Security is improving. We have been accompanying those security teams and we are really hoping to go back really, really quickly," he said.
The International Committee of the Red Cross says getting proper medical treatment in Iraq remains a problem because of sporadic fighting and looting, as well as insufficient supplies of electricity and water.
Meanwhile, in Baghdad's residential neighborhoods, U.S. ordnance demolition teams worked to find and destroy unexploded American cluster bomblets used in the war against Saddam Hussein's forces.
One detonation rocked the neighborhood and set off a nearby car alarm.
When a cluster bomb explodes, it releases as many as one hundred bomblets, each one powerful enough to maim or kill. The small black canisters measure less than six centimeters in length.