From The People's Daily:
U.S.-led coalition forces handed over security control of Najaf province to Iraqi forces on Wednesday in third such transfer of an entire province.Democracy and autonomy, at a high price.
"It is a major step forward in improving security and strengthening the authority of the government," U.S. Major General Kurt Cichowski, who oversaw the transfer of authority, told a gathering of political and religious leaders in the Najaf Stadium south of Baghdad.
"Coalition forces will continue to provide support if called upon," Cichowski said.
"Today marks a historic event for the great country of Iraq," U. S. commander Brigadier General Vincent Brooks said.
The Iraqi national advisor Mowaffaq al-Rubaie told the ceremony "in a few days we shall see a transfer of security in three other provinces in northern Kurdistan."