Iraq: Iraqi security officials say a car bomb blast near a Shi'ite mosque in eastern Baghdad has killed 10 people and wounded 25 others.
Officials say the explosion occurred (today/Wednesday) in a crowded marketplace in the majority Shi'ite neighborhood of Kamaliyah.
Later, two car bombs exploded in another eastern suburb, killing five day laborers and wounding 10 others.
The blasts follow Tuesday's suicide car bomb attack targeting Shi'ite day laborers in Baghdad that killed 70 and wounded 230.
Also today (Wednesday) in a town (Riyadh) some 50 kilometers south of Kirkuk, suicide attackers drove two vehicles into an Iraqi army base and then detonated explosives that killed at least five soldiers and wounded 10 others.
Bush – Iraq:
President Bush will visit the Pentagon today (Wednesday) to consult with senior Defense Department officials as part of the administration's overall review of U.S. policy in Iraq.
The president has spent most of this week discussing Iraq with administration officials and outside experts. He spoke to U.S. military commanders in Iraq on Tuesday by way of a video link, and met with Tariq al-Hashimi, Iraq's Sunni vice president, in the White House.
''The New York Times'' is reporting that Iraqi officials have presented a plan which calls for its troops to assume primary responsibility for security in Baghdad. U.S. forces will be redeployed to the city's outer edges.
The White House announced Tuesday that Mr. Bush will wait until early 2007 to announce his plans for Iraq. He had been expected to make the announcement before Christmas.
Iraq Sidebar: Polls: New opinion polls indicate that Americans are viewing the war in Iraq with increasing pessimism as President Bush weighs a policy shift for the violence-torn country.
A USA Today/Gallup Poll published Tuesday indicates that fewer than one in five Americans has a "great deal" of trust in the president to do the right thing in Iraq. Fifty five percent of Americans polled said they want U.S. troops out of Iraq in a year, but only 18 percent believe it will happen.
A Washington Post/ABC News poll indicated that only three in 10 Americans thought the U.S. was making significant progress in restoring civil order to Iraq. Four in 10 people thought Iraq was in a civil war.
The surveys were released one day after a CBS news poll showed that opposition to the war in Iraq had exceeded anti-war sentiment during the Vietnam War era. More than 60 percent said deploying troops to Iraq was a mistake.
Palestinians – Violence: Unidentified gunmen in the Gaza Strip have shot and killed a Hamas-linked judge outside a courthouse in Khan Younis.
Hamas officials and witnesses say four gunmen killed Bassam al-Farah -- the judge of a local Islamic tribunal -- while he was driving to work. Tensions remain high in Gaza after the killing of three sons of a senior security officer loyal to President Mahmoud Abbas.
On Tuesday, Hamas gunmen fired on demonstrators from Mr. Abbas' Fatah group who were protesting the killings of the children.
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