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U. S. Authorities Continue Investigating Circumstances of Attack on Russian Diplomats - 8 April, 2003

The George Bush administration continues to maintain contacts with Russia's government "at many levels" in connection with the continued investigation of the incident in Iraq when Russian diplomats and journalists came under fire.

This was said in Washington by spokesman for the U.S. Department of State Phillip Ricker, according to whom the investigation is being carried out by the CENTCOM top officials in Qatar in a bid to find out the facts.

The State Department spokesman said it was unknown what happened and whose forces participated in the incident. If American forces were involved in this in any way, there was doubtless no intention on their part to do damage to the Russian personnel, Ricker stated.

He added that U.S. National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice and U.S. Ambassador to Russia Alexander Vershbow had met with the Russian Foreign Minister in connection with this incident. U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell talked twice with the Russian Foreign Minister over the phone.