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Saturday, July 22, 2006

Sectarian Violence Surges in Iraq

National Newswire
B. Thomas Cooper

ABC NEWS, and the Associated Press, report two American soldiers killed Saturday in Baghdad, while south of the Iraqi capital, U.S. and Iraqi forces launched a major attack against a compound believed to be the headquarters of a radical Shiite militia , reportedly killing 15 suspected militiamen during the three-hour siege.

This, as two rockets exploded within the heavily fortified Green Zone in central Baghdad, which houses the U.S. and British embassies. There were no immediate reports of casualties.

As a result of this recent escalation in violence, the United States intends to increase troop numbers in the Baghdad area, rather than drawing down current levels, as expected. U.S. troop levels in Iraq currently remain around 127,000, according to military sources.

U.S. Central Command reports that as of July 14th, 2006, the combined number of U.S. casualties for Operation Iraq Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom stands at 2,843, greater than the total loss of life suffered during the events of September 11th.

U.S. officials blame Shiite militias for the majority of sectarian violence, but this of course, means little to the understandably tense residents of Baghdad, who remain skeptical, and fearful, as the violence grows more intense.

National Newswire 2006

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