Sunday, February 25, 2007

Iraqi president out of the country....

Does this mean anything?

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani has been flown to Jordan for medical treatment after falling ill, his office said on Sunday.

"Because of his hard work in past days, President Jalal Talabani has become ill and the doctors advised him to take some tests," a brief statement said.

"There is no cause for concern," it said without providing details of his condition.

Talabani, 73, has served as president since April 2005. He founded one of Iraq's main Kurdish political parties, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and spent the years of Saddam Hussein's rule in exile in Syria.

Update 2/26: Things that make you say 'Wait a minute....'

BAGHDAD, Iraq — Iraq's Shiite vice president narrowly escaped assassination Monday as a blast ripped through a government meeting hall just hours after it was searched by U.S. teams with bomb-sniffing dogs. At least 10 people were killed.

Adel Abdul-Mahdi was slightly wounded in the explosion, which splintered chairs, destroyed a speakers' podium and sent a chilling message that suspected Sunni militants can strike anywhere despite a major security crackdown across Baghdad.

As U.S. forces sealed off the area around the municipal building, investigators grappled with the troubling question of how the bomb was smuggled into the ministry of public works _ a seven-story structure with crack surveillance systems from its days as offices for Saddam Hussein's feared intelligence service.

The bomb _ possibly hidden in the podium _ went off moments after the minister for public works finished a speech in the third-floor chamber, witnesses said. Abdul-Mahdi had made a welcoming address a few minutes earlier, raising speculation the bomb could have been on a timer-trigger that missed the vice president by sheer luck.

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