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10 May 2004

Coalition Provisional Authority Report, May 10: Iraq Operations

Iraqis taking control of more government ministries

As the June 30 transfer of sovereignty approaches, the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) continues the process of turning over government ministries to Iraqi control, CPA spokesman Dan Senor says.

At a CPA briefing in Baghdad May 10, Senor announced that the Ministry of Water Resources is the latest government ministry to be transferred from CPA authority to Iraqi hands. At this point, the ministries of Education, Municipalities and Public Works, Science and Technology, Culture, Agriculture, and Displacement and Migration are already under Iraqi control, to mention a few, and, according to Senor, the ministries of Industry and Minerals, Foreign Affairs, and Planning and Development will all be transferred to Iraqi authority this week.

Also at the briefing, Army Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt said coalition forces conducted offensive operations May 9 night in the Sadr City section of Baghdad, in an effort to reduce anti-coalition attacks and the overall presence of the Muqtada al-Sadr militia. Kimmitt said coalition forces conducted a "cordon and search" operation in conjunction with the destruction of the Sadr bureau building, in order to deny its continued use by the Muqtada militia.

He told a questioner that the building was leveled by fire from tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles, and, perhaps, a helicopter gunship as well.

"Total roll-up over the last 24 hours from the numerous engagements in Sadr City resulted in 35 enemy killed, two enemy wounded and four coalition soldiers wounded who have been returned to duty," Kimmitt said.

Meanwhile, Kimmitt said Fallujah has gone over a week without a violation of the cease-fire agreement. With Coalition and Iraqi security forces continuing joint operations at check points around the city, on May 10 coalition forces "conducted a joint patrol in Fallujah supported by the new Fallujah Brigade. With the 1st Battalion providing security along their route, Marines from the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force traveled into downtown Fallujah May 10 to meet with city officials. The commanding general of the 1st Marine Division, Major General Mattis, met with the mayor of Fallujah and a group of tribal sheiks to discuss plans to rebuild and revitalize the city. ... Marines took no hostile fire during their time in the city today," Kimmitt said.

Asked whether the situation in Fallujah was stable for the present, Kimmitt said, "There is still work to be done in Fallujah. We still have not seen the enemy weapons that we know are in there."

(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)

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