Iraq handed over 2 days earlier

The United States has handed sovereignty to an interim Iraqi government two days earlier than expected, aiming to forestall guerrilla attacks with a surprise ceremony formally ending 14 months of occupation.

Iraq’s outgoing U.S. governor Paul Bremer handed a letter to Iraq leaders sealing the formal transfer of powers before immediately flying out of the country.

The low-key ceremony was over before it was announced and came as a surprise to ordinary Iraqis. Its hurried and furtive nature appeared to reflect fears that guerrillas could stage a spectacular attack on the scheduled date of June 30.

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