Leading Iraqi political groups are calling on the interim government to delay national elections scheduled for January 30th, because of ongoing violence in the country.
At least 15 mostly Sunni and Kurdish political groups said today (Friday) the elections should be delayed by up to six months. They issued their call after a meeting at the Baghdad home of influential Sunni politician Adnan Pachachi, who also has close ties to Washington.
President Bush said today he hopes elections will take place as planned in January.
Meanwhile, a British official said four employees of a private British security firm killed Thursday in Baghdad's heavily fortified "Green Zone" were Gurkhas, the renowned Nepalese soldiers.
Also on Friday, the US military said Marines have cleared weapons from more than half the houses in the restive city of Fallujah, after mounting an offensive to crush rebels there.