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Iraq PM Says Violence Decreasing; More than 40 Die in Attacks

  • VOA News

Iraq's prime minister says the the security situation in Iraq is improving, but violence continued Sunday, claiming more than 40 lives.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki told CNN television that Iraqi forces are making progress in securing the country. He says Iraq is not in a civil war and never will be.

The prime minister spoke one day after persuading Shi'ite and Sunni tribal leaders to unite against sectarian violence.

Both U.S. and Iraqi officials have reported improvements this month, reversing a steady trend of increasing violence from January to July, the deadliest month for Iraqi civilians since the U.S. led invasion.

In the latest violence Sunday, Iraqi police say 12 people were killed by attackers who opened fire in a market in the mainly Shiite town of Khalis, north of Baghdad

Earlier Sunday, bombings in Baghdad, Baquba, Basra and Kirkuk claimed nearly 30 lives.

The U.S. military says a U.S. soldier was killed Saturday night when his vehicle hit a roadside bomb southeast of Baghdad. At least 26-hundred U.S. troops have died as part of the Iraq war since the conflict began in March 2003.

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