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Bush mourns US troops killed in helicopter crash in Iraq
www.chinaview.cn 2003-11-17 06:53:14

    WASHINGTON, Nov. 16 (Xinhuanet) -- US President George W. Bush on Sunday mourned American troops killed in a helicopter crash in Iraq and vowed the US troops would leave Iraq until the country's security situation is stabilized.

    "It's a sad day when you lose life," Bush told reporters at the White House South Lawn after spending his weekend holidays at CampDavid.

    Two US Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters collided in midair Saturday and crashed into a residential neighborhood in the northern city of Mosul, killing at least 17 soldiers and injuring five others.

    "Today I spent some time in prayer for our servicemen and womenwho are in harm's way. I prayed for their families, I prayed for those who are still in harm's way, whether it be American troops or coalition troops," Bush said.

    Bush also said he was pleased that the Iraqi Governing Council has laid out a timetable for the transfer of sovereignty and he would adjust US troop levels in Iraq according to the progress in making the country safe and defeating insurgents following a political handover next year.

    "It depends on what's taking place on the ground...The political process will move on, and we'll adjust our troop level according to the security situation in Iraq," Bush said.

    "We are going to stay tough and deal with the terrorists," he added.

    On Saturday, the Iraqi Governing Council and the American occupation authority agreed on the terms of a radical new plan forthe country's political transition that would end the US-led occupation by July 1 and could facilitate a significant withdrawalof US troops next year. Enditem

Bush vows US troops will stay in Iraq

    WASHINGTON, Nov. 16 (Xinhuanet) -- US President George W. Bush on Sunday dismissed the latest purported audio tape by ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein as propaganda and vowed the US troops would leave Iraq until the country's security situation is stabilized.

    "I haven't seen the specifics. I suspect it is the same old stuff. You know, it's propaganda, and we're not leaving until the job is done," Bush told reporters at the White House after spending his weekend holidays at Camp David.

    The tape by Saddam broadcast on an Arabic television station Sunday called on Iraqis to step up their resistance to the occupying forces and warned of more deaths for the US-led forces.

    Bush said his administration would adjust US troop levels in Iraq according to the progress in making the country safe and defeating insurgents after a political handover next year.

    "It depends on what's taking place on the ground...The political process will move on, and we'll adjust our troop level according to the security situation in Iraq," Bush said.

    "We are going to stay tough and deal with the terrorists," he added.

    On Saturday, the Iraqi Governing Council and the American occupation authority agreed on the terms of a radical new plan forthe country's political transition that would end the US-led occupation by July 1 and could facilitate a significant withdrawalof US troops next year. Enditem

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