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Bremer: Iraq Will Need Outside Help after June 30 - 2004-04-19


The top U.S. administrator in Iraq says Iraqi security forces will not be able to deal with threats on their own after power is turned over to a new government June 30.

In a statement issued Sunday Paul Bremer says events in the past two weeks -- including failure by Iraqi forces to stop insurgents from overrunning police stations and attacking public buildings -- show Iraq still needs outside help.

In another development, a spokesman for radical Shi'ite Muslim cleric Moqtada al-Sadr says militia under his control will observe a truce in the holy city of Najaf Monday and Tuesday to mark the anniversary of the Prophet Muhammad's death.

Mr. al-Sadr and many of his fighters have been holed up for several days in Najaf, which is surrounded by U.S. troops. The standoff follows days of fighting between the two sides in several Iraqi towns earlier this month.

Meanwhile, a rocket slammed into the grounds of the Swedish embassy in Baghdad Monday, but no one was hurt. The embassy has not been operating since 1991, and Swedish officials say only an Iraqi caretaker works there.

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