October 11, 2007 in Nation/World

Heightened violence continues across Iraq

Jay Price McClatchy
Associated Press photo

A U.S. military Apache helicopter drops flares to protect itself from a missile attack over downtown Baghdad on Wednesday as it secures an American military convoy hit by a roadside bomb. Associated Press
(Full-size photo)

Related news

Report: Marines push for Afghanistan mission

» The Marine Corps is pushing to redeploy its forces from Iraq to Afghanistan to take the lead in combat operations there and essentially leave Iraq to the Army, the New York Times reported in an article in today’s editions posted online Wednesday night.

» The commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. James Conway, raised the issue with Secretary of Defense Robert Gates last week, the Times reported. Senior military and Pentagon officials said supporters of the proposal, including some in the Army, believe that such a realignment could allow both services to operate more efficiently in the face of strains on the separate forces.

» No major Marine units are among the 26,000 U.S. forces in Afghanistan, while 25,000 Marines are among the 160,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, the paper noted.

Associated Press

BAGHDAD – A recent jump in violence across Iraq continued Wednesday, with at least 16 people killed and 45 wounded in various attacks, including seven involving improvised bombs. More than 55 people were killed and more than 110 were wounded on Tuesday.

Maj. Gen. Kevin Bergner, the top U.S. military spokesman in Iraq, said the attacks were part of what’s become an annual increase in violence during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which ends this weekend. He said the attacks were mounted mainly by al-Qaida in Iraq, which he said is trying to reverse a growing movement among fellow Sunni Muslims who are turning against it.

“This spike in violence largely targets those it sees as most threatening to it: Iraqi security force leaders, concerned local citizens and other local citizens in areas that are in the process of rejecting al-Qaida,” he said.

As Ramadan began, the terrorist group vowed that it would target Sunnis who turned against it or worked with U.S. troops or the Iraqi government.

Coalition troops operating west of Baghdad reporting killing 13 terrorists Wednesday, including one wearing a suicide bomb.

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