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US General Says Enemy In Iraq Still Dangerous


US General Says Military Still Faces Dangerous Enemy in Iraq

The commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, General David Petraeus, says the military still faces a dangerous enemy, despite a recent decline in violence across the country.

Speaking to reporters in Baghdad, General Petraeus expressed satisfaction at the progress made in security, but cautioned against - as he put it - feeling too successful. He added that more tough work is required against "a very dangerous enemy."

Petraeus meets with visiting U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates in Baghdad Thursday.

Gates held talks with top Iraqi leaders Wednesday and said he believes a secure and stable Iraq is within reach.

Separately, the U.S. military said coalition forces killed three insurgents and detained 19 suspects during a series of raids Thursday to disrupt al-Qaida in Iraq operations along the Tigris River Valley.

On Wednesday, a car bomb blast in Baghdad's Karrada district killed 15 people and wounded more than 30 others. To the north of the capital, at least eight people were killed in three separate bomb blasts in the cities of Mosul, Baquba and Kirkuk.

In other news, the Iraqi Red Crescent reported a decline in the number of internally displaced people. The report says nearly 110,000 Iraqis displaced within the country since the 2003 invasion returned to their homes in October. More than two-million people remain internally displaced in Iraq.

ENDS

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