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Egypt Announces Cut in Baghdad Mission Staff

Egypt says it plans to cut staff at its mission in Baghdad after the assassination of Cairo's top diplomat to Iraq.

Egypt's foreign minister said the move is intended to protect mission staff members. The announcement came as Iraq's president expressed his condolences for the killing of Ihab al Sherif.

Earlier Friday, a top U.S. general in Baghdad said the military and the Iraqi government are working on ways to protect foreign diplomats.

Since al Qaida in Iraq claimed it killed the envoy, Iraq's foreign ministry has urged neighboring countries to open diplomatic missions in Baghdad and not to be intimidated by terrorist threats.

The U.S. State Department Friday condemned the envoy's killing and said Washington will not waver from its commitment to establish a peaceful democracy in Iraq.

Meanwhile, near Balad, Iraq, today, the U.S. military said an improvised bomb blast killed one U.S. soldier and wounded three others.

Some information for this story provided by AP and AFP.