Iyad Allawi on Sunday issued a plea for more international help in Iraq's security, asking outside countries to send troops and donate military hardware to bolster Iraq's beleaguered forces. 

 

"Until our forces are fully capable we will continue to need support from our friends," Allawi told reporters. 

 

The incoming government is also considering an amnesty for Iraqi resistance fighters who haven't taken direct roles in killings of US-led occupation forces or Iraqis, Interior Minister Falah Hasan al-Naqib told reporters after the briefing.

 

Martial law

 

Allawi said his ministers are also discussing the imposition of emergency law in parts of Iraq, to help police and paramilitaries bring order. 

 

The Iraqi army was among the
best equipped in the Arab world

"We might impose some kind of martial law in some places if necessary in accordance with the law and in respect to the human rights and the international law," Allawi said. 

 

Allawi acknowledged that the May 2003 decision by US occupation chief L Paul Bremer to disband the Iraqi army was a mistake. 

 

Now, Allawi intends to resurrect aspects of Iraq's former military, enlarging the overall army while creating police and paramilitary units focused on fighting attackers and controlling riots. 

 

Ministerial-level committee

 

As part of the restructuring, Allawi announced creation of a
ministerial-level committee for national security including among others the ministers of defense, interior, foreign affairs, justice, and finance.

 

Many cars were damaged after
a blast near al-Shahada Bridge

Allawi said he discussed the revamping with US Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, who is visiting Iraq this week.


Allawi also announced establishment of a Joint Operations Centre, and regional and local security offices that will coordinate Iraqi military actions with the US-led occupation.

 

US Army Lt Gen Thomas F Metz, commander of Multinational Corps Iraq, will retain overall control of Iraq's security, even after Iraqis regain sovereignty on 30 June.  

 

 

Assassination attempt

 

Meanwhile, Iraqi health minister Alaa al-Sahib al-Elwan escaped an assassination attempt on Saturday by a bomb that was detonated near his car in Salehya, in Baghdad.  

 

Also, at least 14 Iraqis were killed in separate incidents across the country since Saturday.

 

In Baghdad, two Iraqi security guards were killed when a bomb exploded outside Iraq's central bank on Sunday morning.

Ten Iraqis were killed and 12 wounded in clashes on Saturday with occupation forces in the town of Samarra, police and medical sources said on Sunday.

City council shot dead

Armed men killed a city council official from the northern town of Tikrit in a drive-by shooting on Sunday.

Attackers killed Izz al-Din al-Bayati as he travelled on the road that links Tuz Khurmatu to Tikrit, said police officials.

The latest clashes in al-Sadr City
damaged several houses

Clashes erupted at dawn between US troops and Muqtada al-Sadr's al-Mahdi Army in an impoverished Baghdad suburb, leaving one al-Mahdi fighter dead.

Also, a US Marine was killed "in action" on Saturday in al-Anbar province, the US military said.

Turkish driver killed

 

US occupation forces shot dead a Turkish truck driver after he went through a checkpoint near Baghdad.

CNN Turk reported on Sunday that two other people were injured in the incident on Thursday evening.