Saturday, October 21, 2006

Iraq mayhem triggers hunt for exit strategy in US and UK

Foreign Office urges talks with Syria and Iran, as militia seize city left by British

The Guardian

Frantic efforts are under way in Washington and London to find an exit strategy for Iraq as a renewed surge in violence led George Bush to admit yesterday that tactics there might need to change.

Diplomats and politicians in both capitals are desperately reviewing and debating options that were once regarded as unthinkable.

The review was given added urgency yesterday when 800 gunmen, thought to be part of the Mahdi army militia, ran amok in Amara, a town transferred by the British to Iraqi control two months ago.

A source in the Amara police department said 30 officers and 20 civilians had been killed when the gunmen overran police stations and set up roadblocks.

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