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US Troops in Fallujah to Be Repositioned - 2004-04-16


The U.S. military has agreed to reposition troops in the Iraqi city of Fallujah following direct talks with city officials aimed at ending two weeks of violence in the city.

Negotiators say the troops are being moved to allow residents direct access to the city's main hospital. Another meeting between U.S. officials, members of Iraq's Governing Council and Fallujah representatives is scheduled for today (Saturday).

In other diplomatic developments, an special Iranian delegation is in Iraq to try to help mediate an end to an uprising by Shi'ites loyal to radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. But U.S. coalition spokesman Dan Senor says an American diplomat met with a member of the Iranian team and told him not to intervene.

Meanwhile, the U.S. military says eight Iraqi civilians were killed by mortar attacks in the northern city of Mosul Thursday night. Fifteen Iraqis and two coalition soldiers were also wounded.

In Portugal, Interior Minister Antonio Figueiredo says his country may pull its 128 peacekeepers out of Iraq if the situation there continues to worsen.

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