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Monday, August 09, 2004

The New York Times > International > Middle East > Law and Order: Iraq's Premier Takes Hard Line Against Rebels

The New York Times > International > Middle East > Law and Order: Iraq's Premier Takes Hard Line Against Rebels: "LAW AND ORDER
Iraq's Premier Takes Hard Line Against Rebels
By JOHN F. BURNS and ALEX BERENSON

BAGHDAD, Iraq, Aug. 8 - Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, reinforcing his reputation as a man ready to deal harshly with his adversaries, flew into the embattled city of Najaf on Sunday and said that there would be 'no negotiations or truce' that would spare rebel fighters from American and Iraqi forces who have been waging a violent contest for control of the city's heart.
In Baghdad, Dr. Allawi's aides later announced that the government had approved a decree restoring the death penalty for a range of crimes, including some so broadly phrased that they appeared to cover virtually every kind of insurgent attack. A suspension of the death penalty was one of the earliest moves taken by the American occupation authority last year.
The two actions on Sunday, coming amid some of the fiercest fighting of the 15-month insurgency, seemed to set a new benchmark for Dr. Allawi, whose political trademark since his youth in Saddam Hussein's Baath Party has been one of relentless toughness. The restoration of capital punishment had been expected since he took office in June, with a twin-edged vow to curb the insurgency by reaching out to disaffected "

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