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Child Killed in Blast at Shi'ite School in Baghdad - 2004-02-16


At least one child has been reported killed in an explosion at a school in a Shi'ite neighborhood of Baghdad.

Iraqi police and U.S. military officials gave few details about the explosion, which wounded at least three people at the school in the city's Kadhamiya section.

Earlier Monday, separate roadside bombings in central Iraq killed two American soldiers and wounded five others.

The first attack this morning hit a military convoy in Baghdad, killing one soldier and wounding another. Within an hour, in the town of Baquba, 60 kilometers north of the capital, another blast left one American soldier dead and four others wounded. The U.S. military says two Iraqis were detained after the second attack.

The U.S. military has also reported an American civilian was killed and three others wounded late last week in an ambush on a road south of Baghdad. The Americans were part of a religious group working in Iraq, but the group was not identified.

In other news, the U.S. administrator in Iraq said on Sunday that the United States is ready to consider alternatives to its plan for transferring power to Iraqis, but remains committed to a June 30 date for the turnover.

Paul Bremer says U.S. officials are awaiting recommendations from the United Nations, which could come later this week.

He says there are dozens of ideas to consider, including partial elections, a modified caucus plan or some type of national conference.

Mr. Bremer insists there is not enough time to hold national elections before June 30, as leaders of Iraq's Shi'ite majority have demanded. However, he says elections planned for next year could be moved up by several months.

In another development, Iraqi foreign minister Hoshiyar Zebari says his nation will ask the United States to hand over ousted leader Saddam Hussein for trial after an Iraqi administration takes power in Baghdad. The minister says Saddam should not be treated as a prisoner of war. Many Iraqis want Saddam to be tried for genocide and for other crimes against humanity.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters, AP and AFP.

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