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Iraqi Snapshot

Military: Level of violence drops to level not seen since 2004 

      BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) — The level of violence in Iraq has dropped within

the past week to a level not seen in four years, a military spokesman said

Sunday. 

      Iraqi Security Forces are in the lead in Basra, Mosul and Sadr City, said

Rear Adm. Patrick Driscoll, spokesman for Multi-National Forces – Iraq.

      “Iraq-wide, we have seen a significant reduction of violence. In the past

week, security incidents decreased to levels we have not seen since March of

2004. These figures reflect a decrease in attacks of some 70 percent since the

surge operations began in June of 2007.”

      Earlier Sunday, two separate blasts wounded at least 16 people in

Baghdad, the interior ministry said. 

      A roadside bomb targeting a police patrol went off near the Turkish

embassy in the Waziriya neighborhood in northern Baghdad Sunday morning, the

ministry official said. The blast wounded at least five people: two police

officers and three bystanders. 

      In the second attack, a bomb inside a parked car went off as a convoy for

Babil’s provincial governor drove by in western Baghdad Sunday afternoon, an

interior ministry official said. It was not not immediately known whether

Governor Salim al-Muslimawi was part of the convoy when the bomb went off. The

blast hurt 11 people, including seven members of the governor’s security

detail.

      Driscoll also updated numbers from raids conducted in several Shiite

neighborhoods of Baghdad on Friday. More than 513 people of interest were

initially screened by Iraqi National Police, he said, and the Iraqi Army

detained 128 people. U.S. forces screened 385 people, he said, and 344 were

released. 

      Multi-National Division – Baghdad troops took 40 people into custody, he

said. Five of those were wanted criminals, and the remaining 35 were detained

for questioning.

      Several hundred Iraqi soldiers, with U.S. troops providing security,

conducted the raids in the al-Amal and Bayaa neighborhoods in southwest Baghdad

and the northwest Baghdad neighborhood of Rahmaniyat al-Shula, officials said.

     — From CNN’s Mohammed Tawfeeq

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