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Iraqi Forces Clash with Baghdad Insurgents; Coalition Raids Target al-Qaida


01 December 2006

Iraqi forces, backed by U.S. helicopters, have clashed with Sunni insurgents in Baghdad, as coalition troops conducted raids in the capital.

Officials say one Iraqi soldier and at least two other people were killed in the clashes Friday in the Fadhil area of Baghdad.

Iraqi security officials also say at least six people were killed in car bomb blasts and other attacks in Baghdad.

Separately, the U.S. military says coalition forces killed two insurgents and detained 27 suspects in multiple raids targeting al-Qaida terrorists in and around the Iraqi capital.

The U.S. military also says an American soldier was killed Thursday in Baghdad.

In the northern city of Kirkuk Friday, a suicide bomb attack against a U.S. convoy killed two civilians and wounded several others.

On Thursday, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said Iraqi forces will be ready to take over security responsibility from the U.S.-led coalition in June of next year.

Mr. Maliki made the remark after talks with President Bush in Amman, Jordan, focusing on ways to stem the spiraling sectarian violence in Iraq.

At a joint news conference, Mr. Bush said the United States will accelerate a training program for Iraqi troops to help the government.

A senior White House official, Stephen Hadley, says Mr. Bush is preparing to make changes to his Iraq policy in "weeks, rather than months."

Some information for this report was provided by AP.



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