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Ukraine Announces Pullout of Iraq Force

"The police are killers," said Muhammed Nihaya, Ahmed's father, as he left his house with an AK-47 assault rifle, vowing to kill any police officer he saw that night. "I will take revenge."

In Baiji, 142 Iraqi National Guardsmen have resigned in the face of insurgent attacks before the elections.

"We all resigned because we were threatened by letters to quit," said Mohammed Murtada, 22, one of the former guardsmen. "There are some of my colleagues who were killed because they did not respond to the threat. The other reason is the increasing car bombs and explosions that target us."

Raad Mahmoud, another guardsman who resigned, said the number of Iraqis leaving the force was increasing because of intimidation.

But Abdullah Jasim Jbara, the deputy governor of Salahuddin province, disputed their accounts. "Now the situation is stable, and we don't hear of resignations," he said.

Iraq's interim prime minister, Ayad Allawi, told reporters that his government was intensifying raids on the homes and headquarters of insurgent group members as the elections approach. He said there would be no "safe haven" for insurgents.

Asked about the reported resignation over the weekend of the 13-member electoral commission in restive Anbar province, Allawi said he could not confirm it.

"I don't know anything about that," he said. He was with members of the national election commission on Sunday, he said, "and they did not inform me about any resignations of this kind."

Special correspondents Bassam Sebti in Baghdad and Salih Saif Aldin in Tikrit contributed to this report.

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