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Explosions wound 4 at coalition's Baghdad center

Three explosions Tuesday night rocked the fortified presidential palace compound where many U.S. officials live and work, wounding four people in the second such attack on the complex in the Iraqi capital in 10 days.

Capt. David Romley of the Pentagon said the blasts were probably caused by mortar rounds launched into the 2-square-mile "Green Zone," which includes coalition headquarters, the military press center and other key facilities. He said it was not known whether the injured were soldiers or civilians. It was not immediately clear whether any were Americans.

On Oct. 26, insurgents fired projectiles into the compound, hitting the Rashid Hotel, which is home to many American soldiers and civilian officials in the U.S.-led occupation administration. That attack, carried out with at least eight rockets, killed one person and wounded at least six.

Also Tuesday, one U.S. soldier died and two were injured in a roadside bombing in Baghdad. The military said all were from the 1st Armored Division, but their names were withheld until their families could be notified.

GOP lawmaker criticizes

prewar U.S. intelligence

WASHINGTON _ The chairman of the House intelligence committee said Tuesday that prewar U.S. intelligence about Iraq was hampered by significant shortcomings, including what he called an unsatisfactory response by the CIA to congressional directives to improve its foreign-language capacity.

The chairman, Rep. Porter Goss, R-Fla., has been a prominent champion of the intelligence agencies, so his criticisms were particularly notable.

They went beyond those that he and his Democratic counterpart, Rep. Jane Harman of California, made in late September in a private letter to George Tenet, the director of central intelligence, and they opened a new chapter in the debate over who or what was responsible for intelligence failures regarding Iraq.

"Our capabilities were not what they should have been," Goss told the New York Times. He said there had been "way too many gaps" in U.S. intelligence-gathering, including information about Iraq's conventional military power and any illicit weapons programs.

WHITE HOUSE DOCUMENTS: The chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee said Tuesday he spoke too hastily when he said the White House would provide his panel with the documents and interviews it is seeking for its inquiry on prewar intelligence on Iraq.

But the chairman, Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., said he is optimistic that the committee will get everything it wants.

NO REPORT THIS YEAR: Roberts and the panel's top Democrat, Sen. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia, said the committee is unlikely to complete an interim report on the intelligence before Congress adjourns for the year late this month or in December. Public hearings probably also will be postponed until next year.

In diplomacy . . .

UNITED NATIONS: U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan on Tuesday put two senior U.N. officials responsible for staff security in Iraq on leave for 2{ months and appointed an independent panel to assign blame to U.N. officials who failed to take precautions before the Aug. 19 suicide attack against the U.N. compound in Baghdad.

The chief U.N. security coordinator, Tun Myat of Myanmar, and the organization's acting representative for Iraq, Ramiro Lopes da Silva of Portugal, were singled out after a highly critical report last month charged senior U.N. officials in New York and Baghdad with mismanaging staff security and ignoring repeated threats of attack.

SPAIN SHRINKS STAFF: The Spanish government, one of the Bush administration's most important allies in Iraq, said Tuesday that it had drastically scaled back its diplomatic staff in Baghdad. Only four or five people remain in the Spanish Embassy. The rest of the diplomatic and administrative team has been withdrawn to Jordan, said the Spanish foreign minister, Ana Palacio.

TURKISH TROOPS: Turkey's offer of troops for duty in Iraq remains on the table, but no soldiers would be sent without a formal invitation from the American-appointed Iraqi Governing Council, the Turkish ambassador to the United States said Tuesday. O. Faruk Logoglu acknowledged the significant opposition from some members of the Iraqi Governing Council, who have expressed fears both of inciting ethnic disputes and of encouraging Turkish influence over its southern neighbor.

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