President Bush is rejecting calls from some Iraqis to postpone the planned January 30th elections.
The president told reporters in Washington Thursday that it was "time for Iraqi citizens to go to the polls." Mr. Bush also said he personally honored the request of US military commanders to increase the size of American forces from 138,000 to 150,000 to bolster security in Iraq ahead of the elections.
Prominent Iraqi Sunni Muslim politicians have again repeated their calls to delay the elections as violence continues in parts of the country.
Meanwhile, at least one Iraqi was killed and several wounded in a wave of mortar attacks in Baghdad. And the US military says an American soldier was shot and killed while on patrol in Mosul.