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Insurgent attacks kill 8 in Iraq

Saddam arraigned in Iraqi court; al-Zarqawi bounty raised

A U.S. soldier stands at attention during the raising of the Iraqi flag over "Assassins' Gate" in the Green Zone in Baghdad on Thursday.
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Saddam Hussein has a heated exchange with a judge over the invasion of Kuwait.

Saddam appears in court to hear charges against him.

New Iraqi government faces a number of security challenges.
• Interactive: Who's who in Iraq
• Interactive: Sectarian divide
Saddam Hussein

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Insurgent bombs, rockets and mortars killed eight people Thursday in Iraq and damaged a power plant that supplies electricity to Baghdad.

Among the dead were six Iraqis, including an interim government official, and two members of the U.S.-led coalition forces.

One of the troops killed was a U.S. Marine in Iraq's expansive Al Anbar province, which includes the restive cities of Ramadi and Fallujah and runs to the Syrian and Jordanian borders.

The other was killed by a roadside bomb south of Mosul, in northern Iraq, a spokesman for the multinational force said; the dead soldier's nationality was not disclosed.

In the incident that killed an Iraqi official, a bomb outside Baghdad's Yarmuk Hospital killed Ihsan Kareem, a high-ranking official with Iraq's National Audit Office, and his driver early Thursday morning, Iraqi police Col. Adnan Abdul Rahman said.

An hour later, Rahman said, another bomb killed three civilians, and in Mosul, a rocket explosion near the Mosul Chamber of Commerce killed another man.

The attacks are the latest in a yearlong guerrilla campaign against U.S.-led troops and the Iraqi interim government, which took power Monday.

Insurgents have also targeted contractors working with coalition and Iraqi authorities to rebuild Iraq's infrastructure.

Thursday morning, insurgents used mortars to shell a power station south of Baghdad that supplies electricity to the Iraqi capital, setting back plans to increase the hours that Baghdad residents have power, Electricity Ministry spokesman Hamid Khudair said.

About 140,000 U.S. troops and nearly 20,000 from allied countries remain under a U.N. mandate to provide security for the interim government.

Thursday, Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez handed over command of the U.S.-led multinational force in Iraq to Gen. George Casey in a Baghdad ceremony.

More than 850 U.S. troops have been killed in Iraq and more than 5,300 wounded since the March 2003 invasion that overthrew former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.

Saddam faces Iraqi judge

On Thursday, ousted dictator Saddam -- handcuffed and heavily guarded -- appeared in public for the first time as a prisoner of the interim Iraqi government, shortly before he entered an Iraqi courtroom to hear charges for crimes during his rule. (Full story)

The effort to eliminate the threat posed by accused terrorist mastermind Abu Musal al-Zarqawi got a boost as the bounty on him was raised to $25 million.

U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell had authorized the increase, from the previous reward of $10 million, a State Department spokesman said. (Full story)

Al-Zarqawi is blamed for dozens of deadly attacks on coalition forces and Iraqi civilians, and he also is suspected in the beheadings of at least two foreign hostages in Iraq.

Other developments:

  • Former Sen. John Danforth was sworn in Thursday as the United States' new ambassador to the United Nations, replacing John Negroponte, who is now the new U.S. ambassador to Iraq. "I'm confident that his good judgment and wisdom will serve America well at the United Nations," President Bush said during the brief ceremony. Danforth then told Bush, "It will be my job to state what you have made clear: The United Nations is important. Indeed, it is essential to winning the war against terrorism."
  • King Abdullah of Jordan said Thursday he would be willing to send troops to Iraq if asked to do so by the country's new interim government. "If the Iraqis ask us for help directly, it will be very difficult for us to say no," he told BBC's "Newsnight." If the king were to send troops to Iraq, Jordan would become the first Arab country to do so. (Full story)

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