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/ 21 January 2008

US says Iran still training Iraqi militias

The United States military said on Sunday there had been a dramatic drop in the number of Iranian weapons being used in Iraq but no let-up in Tehran’s training and financing of Iraqi militias. Washington has accused Tehran of supplying Shi’ite militias in Iraq with sophisticated weapons, including armour-piercing bombs.

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/ 1 January 2008

Suicide bomber hits Iraq funeral

A suicide bomber killed at least 30 people and wounded 38 at a funeral in eastern Baghdad on Tuesday as the deadliest attack in the Iraqi capital for months cast a pall over New Year celebrations. Baghdadis had greeted 2008 at family gatherings and parties impossible just months ago when travel across the capital at night was too dangerous.

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/ 18 December 2007

Rice pushes ‘roadmap’ as Turkish troops enter Iraq

United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, on a visit overshadowed by a Turkish incursion into northern Iraq, called on Iraqi leaders on Tuesday to urgently implement a national reconciliation roadmap. Turkish troops crossed overnight into the Iraqi Kurdish province of Dahuk, about 200km from the city of Kirkuk, where Rice’s plane first touched down.

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/ 21 October 2007

US forces kill 49 in Baghdad Shi’ite stronghold

United States forces killed 49 ”criminals” in fierce fighting with militants in Baghdad’s Shi’ite stronghold of Sadr City on Sunday during a raid targeting an Iranian-linked insurgent. Medics at four hospitals confirmed 17 dead, including a boy and a girl, but US military spokesperson Major Winfield Danielson said there were no civilian casualties and no reports of American losses.

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/ 21 October 2007

At least 13 killed in US Baghdad strikes

United States air strikes killed at least 13 people and wounded 52 early on Sunday in the north-eastern Baghdad district of Sadr city, a stronghold for Shi’ite militants, police sources said. The US military said it was ”targeting criminals believed to be responsible for the kidnapping of coalition soldiers in November 2006 and May 2007”.

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/ 5 October 2007

US says 37 Iraqi militants killed

A United States air strike killed about 25 suspected Iraqi militants linked to Iranian-backed Shi’ite militias on Friday and another 12 al-Qaeda fighters were killed in separate raids, the US military said. US troops said they were engaged in a heavy firefight west of Baquba, capital of volatile Diyala province north of Baghdad, during a dawn raid.

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/ 15 September 2007

New blow to faltering Iraq political process

The movement of radical Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr said on Saturday it would withdraw from the Shi’ite bloc that leads the Iraqi government, in a new blow to the faltering political process. ”The Sadr bloc will hold a press conference in Najaf this evening [Saturday] where it will announce its decision to withdraw from the Shi’ite alliance,” Sadr spokesperson Saleh al-Obeidi said.

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/ 14 September 2007

Analysts: US pull-out will hasten Iraq demise

The killing of one of his key Iraqi allies on the day he announced a troop pull-out from Iraq came as a stark reminder to United States President George Bush of just how precarious the situation still is in Iraq. Political analysts believe the country will unravel even further, hastened by Bush’s decision to withdraw 21 500 combat troops by next July.

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/ 13 September 2007

Al-Qaeda has revived and spread

Al-Qaeda has revived, extended its influence, and has the capacity to carry out a spectacular strike similar to the September 11 attacks on the United States, one of the world’s leading security think tanks warned on Wednesday. There is increasing evidence ”that ‘core’ al-Qaeda is proving adaptable and resilient, and has retained an ability to plan and coordinate large-scale attacks.

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/ 3 September 2007

British troops quitting Iraqi city of Basra

British troops were quitting the southern Iraqi city of Basra overnight in a move that will end the British presence in the oil hub for the first time since the United States-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein in 2003. The pull-out is another step towards handing over Basra province to Iraqi control and paving the way for an eventual withdrawal of British forces from Iraq.

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/ 29 August 2007

Iraq’s al-Sadr suspends militia activities

Iraq’s radical Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr on Wednesday ordered his Mehdi Army militia to suspend its activities for six months in a bid to reorganise the militant group. ”I direct the Mehdi Army to suspend all its activities for six months until it is restructured in a way that helps honour the principles for which it is formed,” Sadr said in a statement.