Thursday, January 06, 2005

Kerry in Iraq- "Elections have to happen"

".. we are at war, and I think you can't really make all the judgments that you need to make without digging in," Kerry said. "The Coalition Provisional Authority made some horrendous judgments and complicated our presence here tremendously.

"Now it's a different time and different set of judgments that need to be made. I need to understand it, so I can make the judgments. That's why I'm here, to see and hear firsthand what the dynamics are."

Meanwhile, in the city of Hilla, about 60 miles south of Baghdad, rescue workers scrambled to the scene of a suicide car bombing at a police academy graduation ceremony. The bomb, detonated at the academy's main entrance, killed 10 officers and injured 44 people, most of them officers, according to military officials.

A few hours later, a car bomb detonated at a police checkpoint near Baqubah, about 35 miles northeast of the capital, killing five officers and wounding eight, the military said.

The car bombings were only the most spectacular in a rising wave of insurgent attacks in advance of nationwide elections set for Jan. 30. Despite the violence, U.S. and Iraqi officials have remained adamant that the vote will go forward, both because the transitional law requires it by the end of January and because a delay might be seen as a victory for the insurgents.

Kerry echoed that sentiment, saying that the "elections will happen. It's something that has to happen."

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