Iraq: December 5, 2002


  In northern Iraq, Kurdish and Islamic radicals have been fighting on the outskirts of a village on the Iranian border. One Kurd and six radicals have been killed and many more wounded. Machine-guns and mortars are being used. The Kurds believe that the Ansar al-Islam radicals have about a thousand armed men on the Iranian border and receive aid from Islamic radicals in Iran. The Kurds also believe, from information gathered from local villagers and travelers, that some 30 members of al Qaeda are with the Ansar al-Islam.  

With fewer than two dozen arms inspectors in the country, they are basically testing their procedures and insuring that they can go where they want to go. In a month, nearly 300 inspectors, and their helicopters, will be in Iraq. Moreover, by December 8, Iraq has to formally announce if it has any forbidden weapons.


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