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Iraqi Prime Minister Issues State of Emergency Throughout Country

By Sgt. 1st Class Doug Sample, USA
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 7, 2004 – Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi issued a statement today declaring a state of emergency throughout Iraq, except for the Kurdish region in the north.

Iraqi spokesman Asan Alib said the order is for 60 days and that "all concerned ministers should comply." The order, he said, will be carried out in all regions.

Alib said the prime minister expects to hold a press conference Nov. 8 to answer further questions on his decision.

Reading from a prepared statement, the spokesman said Allawi's decision came as a result of escalating violence and daily mass killings that have included even women and children.

He said the crimes, along with the deliberate destruction of Iraq's infrastructure, are part of a plot by "criminals and terrorists" to derail the process toward general elections planned for January.

Today's declaration of a state of emergency came only after the government tried "all peaceful solutions and carried out all possible connections and communications in order to establish a peaceful solution."

An emergency law, issued in August 2004 with the consensus of all the ministers, stated that "all regions in Iraq can be submitted to emergency rules if found necessary," Alib said.

The emergency law was passed "in order to start the end to all violence efforts carried out by the terrorists," he added.

Alib said the "government is serious in maintaining the security of the country, and also it is quite serious in its part toward the general elections and any obstacles in this way be removed by the government."

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