Iraqi election delay could stall US troop pullout

Iraqi election delay cou

By
October 30, 2009 02:41

 
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US troops could leave Iraq later than currently planned if the fragile nation's elections are delayed, the Defense Department said Thursday. Military commanders have said they want to keep the 117,000 soldiers now in Iraq in place for about two months after the scheduled Jan. 16 elections to ensure security during the government transition. With a political deadlock in Baghdad over how to register voters in the northern oil-rich Kirkuk province, however, the balloting could be delayed. "That's why we are hanging on to as large a force as we are in Iraq," Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell told reporters at a news briefing.

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