Almost all of Saddam Hussein's police quit this northern Iraqi city Friday, to the joy of refugees. But America and its allies are left with the task of stopping further bloodshed by returning Kurdish guerrillas.
Guerrillas with machine guns and hand grenades attacked a police station in Zakho late Thursday, wounding at least five officers, Zakho Mayor Daoud Hassan Suliman said Friday. Other residents said two police were killed, but this could not be confirmed.The police were part of a 50-man Iraqi force intended to patrol the city in the Kurdish "safety zone" set up by allied forces.
In New York, the United Nations said it would soon take control of the U.S.-installed refugee camp.
"We intend to take over as soon as possible," Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar said Friday. "It is a question of days."
Saddam, in the latest move toward easing the severity of his rule, on Friday lifted a ban on travel for Iraqis and disbanded his Baath Party militia, known as the Popular Army, which was mobilized during the gulf crisis.
The travel ban was ordered early in the crisis when Saddam began marshalling his 17-million population to face the U.S.-led coalition forces.