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Four killed in Iraq attacks

U.S. troops patrol near the Foreign Ministry after the explosion.
U.S. troops patrol near the Foreign Ministry after the explosion.

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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Three U.S. soldiers and an Iraqi interpreter were killed in two separate incidents by explosive devices Monday near Baghdad, the U.S. military said Tuesday.

In one incident, a soldier with the Army's 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment was killed west of Baghdad. Another soldier from the unit was wounded.

On Monday night, two soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division and their Iraqi interpreter were killed south of Baghdad near Haswah. Two other soldiers were wounded. No further details on the deaths were available.

Meanwhile, a Shiite imam and his assistant have been taken into custody for storing weapons at a mosque, coalition authorities said Tuesday.

Imam Mu'ayyad Al Khazraji of the Ali Al Bayaa Mosque and his assistant, Abdel Jalil Wakiya, were arrested Monday for having assault rifles, grenades and ammunition at a holy site, according to a spokesman with the Army's 82nd Airborne Division.

He said Iraq police, who arrested the pair, found four AK-47s, a bag of grenades and .50-caliber ammunition at the Baghdad mosque. It was not immediately clear if the 82nd Airborne played any role in their apprehension.

Pending further investigation, authorities said Al Khazraji was being held on the following counts: possible murder, conspiracy to commit murder, kidnapping, false imprisonment, harboring terrorists, soliciting weapons for delivery to terrorists and organizing illegal demonstrations.

A spokesman for the 82nd Airborne told CNN there are witnesses to support the charges but worshippers said evidence was planted at the mosque after the imam was arrested.

They told CNN U.S. soldiers entered the mosque to plant bombs, grenades and pistols and then photographed the cache.

There was no immediate response from the Army or Iraqi police on the allegations, but the U.S. military said all the arrests were made outside the mosque, and no U.S. soldiers went inside.

Also in Baghdad Tuesday, a coalition military spokesman reported an explosion near the Iraqi Foreign Ministry. "It was not a bomb. We believe it was an RPG (rocket-propelled grenade)," he said.

Immediately after the blast -- shortly after 11 a.m. (4 a.m. EDT) -- there was a firefight between coalition forces and an unknown assailant, a coalition spokeswoman said.

The gunfight lasted less than 45 minutes, according to American soldiers at the scene. CNN's Harris Whitbeck said U.S. forces have cordoned off the area and are patrolling the streets around the Foreign Ministry complex.

Disagreement at the U.N.

The developments in Baghdad came as a U.S. draft resolution on Iraq stalled at the U.N. Security Council.

The resolution sets out a step-by-step transfer of authority to an interim administration, but does not include a specific timetable. It also calls for the "unified command" of a multinational force, meaning ultimate U.S. control.

Security Council diplomats said they agreed with the goal of the draft -- rebuilding Iraq -- but there were disagreements over the timetable for transferring power to a provisional Iraqi government.

"The council is still in the process of discussing the resolution, and they are trying to synthesize all the views that they have got," said U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan. "I hope that in the course of this week we will see a new draft."

Monday's discussions at the Security Council focused on Annan's concerns about the draft. He wants power transferred to an interim Iraqi government before a constitution is written and elections are held.

His views are not reflected in the U.S. draft resolution introduced at the Security Council last week, which says the constitution should first be drafted, then elections held, and then full government functions established.

John Negroponte, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said his delegation wants to digest the ideas passed around the table at Monday's session. "I would characterize it as just a very thorough and inconclusive consultation," Negroponte told reporters.

Germany's U.N. ambassador, Gunter Pleuger, said there was a spirit of cooperation among the Security Council.

"Nobody wants to go against the United States," he said. "As a European, Iraq is a neighboring region and having a resolution and multinational contribution is in all of our interests."

No further Security Council meeting on Iraq has been scheduled. The debate over the resolution is expected to last days, if not weeks.

The Turkish Parliament Tuesday approved sending peacekeeping troops to Iraq, CNN Turk reported. The vote was 358 yes, 183 no and two abstentions.

Earlier this year, the Turkish Parliament rejected a proposal allowing U.S. soldiers to use Turkish bases and ports to launch an invasion into northern Iraq.

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