Thursday, June 28, 2007

Iraqis 'unable to hold US gains'


The US commander of a new offensive north of Baghdad says Iraqi forces cannot be relied on to hold territory seized from insurgents.

Brigadier General Mick Bednarek said Iraqi forces had insufficient arms and were "not quite up to the job yet".

Earlier, a senior US commander said most of the key al-Qaeda leadership escaped before the offensive began in Baquba, north of Baghdad.

Meanwhile, three suicide blasts killed at least 25 people in Iraq on Monday.

At least seven people died in a bomb attack on the Mansour Hotel in Baghdad, used by Westerners.

At least eight people were killed when a bomb ripped into a crowd of police recruits in Hilla and at least 10 died when an attacker rammed an oil tanker into the police HQ in the northern oil city of Baiji......

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