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Violence Up in Iraq During Ramadan


The U.S. military says violence has spiked in Iraq since the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan about two weeks ago.

A spokesman Major General William Caldwell says U.S. expects the violence to worsen during the next two weeks, until the end of Ramadan.

Meanwhile, the head of Britain's army says the presence of British troops in Iraq is aggravating the security situation there. In an interview with Britain's Daily Mail newspaper, General Richard Dannatt called for British troops to be withdrawn "sometime soon" from Iraq.

Britain has about seven-thousand troops in Iraq. British Prime Minister Tony Blair has been a major supporter of U.S policy in Iraq.

In other news, gunmen stormed the offices of a new television station in Baghdad, killing 11 employees in one of the biggest attacks yet on media in Iraq.

The executive manager of the Iraqi satellite station says gunmen killed guards, technicians and administrative staff during the raid early Thursday. The station is owned by a secular political party and had not yet begun to broadcast.

Separately, at least eight people were killed and many others wounded in a series of bomb blasts in Baghdad.

And the U.S. military says special Iraqi forces detained 18 suspects while conducting multiple raids in the capital Thursday targeting insurgent groups.


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