U.N. Security Council lifts Iraq sanctions
U.S.: Army patrol ambushed; 2 Iraqis killed
UNITED NATIONS (CNN) -- The U.N. Security Council voted Thursday to lift sanctions against Iraq after almost 13 years and to give the United States and Great Britain authority to control the country until an elected government is in place.
Resolution 1483 passed by a 14-0 vote, with no abstentions. Syria's ambassador to the United Nations was not present and did not participate in the vote.
John Negroponte, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said that "it is time for the Iraqi people to benefit from their natural resources" after being frozen out of the world's economy under Saddam Hussein's rule.
The resolution requires a one-year review, a step sought by Germany and France so that the U.S.-led power of authority would not be open-ended.
The ambassadors of Russia, France and Germany -- whose countries were three of the strongest opponents of war in Iraq -- expressed satisfaction with the vote.
U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, who is in Paris for the G-8 economic summit, told reporters Thursday that France's vote was "a step in the right direction" for the relationship between the United States and France.
"Does it mean the disagreements of the past are simply totally forgotten?" Powell asked. "No, that was not a very pleasant time for any of us. And we have to work our way through that."
The resolution dismantles the oil-for-food program in six months and lifts all sanctions except those on weapons.
The resolution also calls for the Security Council to revisit the issue of whether U.N. arms inspectors will return to Iraq to search for weapons of mass destruction. (Full story)
L. Paul Bremer, the U.S. civil administrator in Iraq, said Wednesday that an Iraqi national conference probably won't meet to choose an interim government until July.
Firefight in central Iraq
In Fallujah, near Baghdad, gunmen armed with rocket-propelled grenades and AK-47s ambushed a U.S. patrol Wednesday night, sparking a firefight that killed two Iraqis, U.S. Army sources said.
Soldiers were moving through the central Iraqi city when a man stepped out of an alley and fired a rocket-propelled grenade at a Bradley fighting vehicle of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, according to the unit commander, Capt. Mike Riedmuller.
The grenade round caused "slight damage," and none of the soldiers were wounded, Riedmuller said. Gunmen fired three other grenade rounds but did not hit the Bradley, he said.
Shortly after the initial attack, two men in a vehicle tried to ram another Bradley called in to reinforce the patrol, Riedmuller said. U.S. troops opened fire on the vehicle, killing both occupants, he said.
Five other Iraqis were captured, Army sources said.
The firefight was the first serious incident in Fallujah since 17 civilians were killed and seven soldiers wounded in three days of anti-American protests at the end of April and the beginning of May. (Full story)
• U.S. Central Command said Thursday that Aziz Sajih Al-Numan -- the king of diamonds in its deck of most-wanted Iraqis -- was captured Wednesday near Baghdad. Al-Numan was the Baath Party regional command chairman responsible for West Baghdad and the former governor of Karbala and Najaf. He is the highest-ranking former leader in coalition custody. (Gallery: Most-wanted in Iraq; Flash gallery: Most-wanted)
• CIA Director George Tenet has begun a review of the intelligence community's assessments of Iraq before the war to determine if the information was accurate. A senior U.S. intelligence official said that the review began a few weeks ago, with four retired intelligence analysts conducting it.
• Bremer on Thursday toured a mass grave south of Baghdad, where 3,100 bodies have been excavated -- most believed to have been Shiite Muslims killed in 1991 after a failed uprising against Saddam. Local doctors said 2,000 of the bodies recovered in Hillah have been identified. Those that have not been identified were wrapped in white shrouds and will be reburied facing the holy city of Mecca, according to Muslim tradition.
• U.S. intelligence analysis of two suspected mobile laboratories found in Iraq has determined they were "certainly designed and constructed for" biological weapons, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell said Wednesday. He added they have been cleaned to the point that "you can't find actual germs on them." (Full story)
• NATO nations agreed unanimously Wednesday to help Poland lead a stabilization force in Iraq, putting behind them prewar divisions that had plunged the alliance into one of the deepest crises in its 54-year history. NATO's flag will not fly in Iraq, but diplomats told Reuters the alliance's decision to start planning for logistical and operational support to the Polish-led multinational force could be the first step toward a much bigger role. (Full story)
CNN Correspondents Jane Arraf, Michael Okwu, Karl Penhaul and Barbara Starr contributed to this report.