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US Deputy Secretary of State Visits Iraq Amid Violence


A series of explosions shook the Iraqi capital Wednesday, while a high-ranking U.S. official visited the country.

Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick visited the former insurgent stronghold of Fallujah. He was scheduled to also meet in Baghdad with Iraq's new interim president and prime minister.

Meanwhile, near Kirkuk, nine policemen were killed while trying to defuse a bomb. In Baghdad, a string of explosions killed five Iraqis and injured eight other people, including four U.S. contractors. Also, the U.S. military announced today that an American soldier was killed Tuesday in Ramadi during combat operations.

And al-Jazeera television has aired a video it says shows an American contractor who was abducted Monday near Baghdad. The video showed the man urging U.S. officials to open a dialogue with insurgents in order to save his life. The White House says it is in contact with the hostage's family.