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US vows no rethink on Iraq strategy

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US vows no rethink on Iraq strategy
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Iraq is promising to boost security; Washington said its military strategy will not be changed.

Leaders in both countries have condemned a series of bomb attacks in Baghdad yesterday that killed close to 130 people and wounded hundreds more.

But the US said there will be no rethink on the pulling back of American forces from major cities.

General Raymond Odierno, the commander of the Multi-National Force in Iraq, said: “I think it’s important that the real Iraqi security forces secure their own people. Combating suicide bombs is a very difficult business. But they are doing very well, and we’ll continue to support them in all of their endeavours.”

Government sites were targeted in five bomb attacks, including a court and the finance ministry.

The explosions have triggered fresh debate about whether Iraqi soldiers are ready to take charge of security from US forces.

The attacks came as preparations begin for elections in March and just days before an auction of oilfield contracts.

The US hopes to begin pulling combat troops out of Iraq by August next year, with a total withdrawal by the end of 2011.