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US Military Trying to Reach Out to Insurgents in Iraq

  • VOA News

The US commander of ground forces in Iraq says the military is increasing its efforts to reach out to insurgent groups to get them to stop their attacks.

Speaking to reporters (via satellite from Iraq) Thursday, Lieutenant General Ray Odierno said commanders at all levels should work to improve communication with militants. The general added that some insurgents are reaching out to US forces.

In Washington, President Bush and Iraq's President Jalal Talabani met at the White House on Thursday and pledged their commitment to restoring peace and security in Iraq.

In Iraq's western city of Fallujah, Iraqi authorities say a suicide bomber killed at least 20 people at a police recruiting center Thursday.

The bomber walked up to a group of people waiting in a line at the recruitment center and detonated his explosives.

The US military, which had a different account of the attack on Thursday, put the casualty toll at one dead -- an Iraqi policeman -- and eight wounded.

Coalition forces reported they detained three suspected terrorists Thursday during operations in Baghdad's Sadr City neighborhood and elsewhere.

In other developments, the US State Department says two Iraqi employees of the US Embassy in Baghdad are missing. A spokesman says US and Iraqi authorities are trying to determine what happened to them.
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