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Commanders in Iraq See 'Surge' Into '08

U.S. Marines and Iraqi soldiers patrol in Sadr City, a large Shiite district in Baghdad. Two U.S. soldiers were killed southeast of the capital yesterday.
U.S. Marines and Iraqi soldiers patrol in Sadr City, a large Shiite district in Baghdad. Two U.S. soldiers were killed southeast of the capital yesterday. (By Hadi Mizban -- Associated Press)

In Anbar, meanwhile, violence has dropped dramatically in recent months because of the cooperation of local tribes -- a trend that could allow for a smaller U.S. presence there in the future, Odierno said. "We have less attacks in Anbar than in any other region," he said.

In Baghdad, sectarian killings have fallen dramatically since January, while suicide bombings using vehicles have increased. Overall, attack patterns varied in different parts of Baghdad. For example, in Mansour to the west, extrajudicial killings fell in February only to increase again by April, while other attacks remained on average the same. In the Rasafa district of central Baghdad, weekly attacks went from 88 in January to 25 in February but are now at about 60.

In the relatively safe Haifa Street area of Baghdad, monthly attacks fell by about 50 percent from January to February but since then have increased slightly, including a significant increase in suicide car bomb attacks. In Sadr City, a large Shiite slum, attack levels have remained fairly constant since January.

In Iraq on Tuesday, violence continued against civilians, U.S. troops and members of the Iraqi security forces. A car bombing at a market in the southern city of Kufa killed at least 16 people and wounded more than 70, according to Najaf provincial police and health officials. The midmorning blast occurred near a Shiite mosque and a popular restaurant, leaving shattered glass and pools of blood on the streets.

Two U.S. soldiers were killed and one was wounded in a roadside bombing southeast of Baghdad, the military said in a statement.

In Diyala province, northeast of Baghdad, a suicide bomber wearing a police uniform detonated an explosives belt at a police station northeast of the provincial capital of Baqubah, killing five officers and wounding 15, said Lt. Mohammed Hekman of the Diyala police.

Staff writer Karin Brulliard in Baghdad contributed to this report.


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