Monday, March 17, 2008
"17/03/2008 US Vice President Dick Cheney, an architect of the US-led invasion of Iraq, swept into Baghdad on an unannounced visit Monday, looking to highlight security gains and promote elusive political progress days before the war enters its sixth year.
Soon after he arrived, two explosions rocked Baghdad, following a roadside bombing that killed a policeman, underscoring the violence that still grips the nation almost five years after the US-led invasion. A security official said one of the blasts was caused by a mortar attack on the highly-fortified Green Zone, home of the US embassy and the seat of Iraqi government.
Cheney met the top US commander in Iraq, General David Petraeus, and the US ambassador Ryan Crocker, and was to hold talks with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and other senior Iraqi political figures.
The unheralded visit, shrouded in secrecy and blanketed with security, came as Cheney opened a nine-day visit to the Middle East and beyond, with scheduled stops in Oman, Saudi Arabia, Israel and the West Bank, and Turkey......."