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hussain 110

7,000 Families Return To Iraq: Pm

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Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said on Sunday that 7,000 families who fled the war-ravaged country have returned to their homes on the back of a sharp drop in violence.

"Due to the improvement in the security situation, 7,000 families have returned to Baghdad and other provinces," Maliki told reporters, without giving a time frame.

He said the country's streets and markets were returning to normal after a series of security crackdowns by Iraqi and US security forces over the past eight months.

"People are enjoying the life that is returning to their streets and markets. We have been able to return life after eight months of a security crackdown."

On Wednesday, Brigadier General Qassim Ata, spokesman for the Baghdad security plan, said that 46,000 Iraqis who had fled the violence returned to the country last month.

Maliki said car bombs and roadside bombings had dropped by 77 percent compared to levels prior to February when US and Iraqi troops launched a major drive against insurgents and militias in Baghdad and its surrounds.

"Many terrorists have fled the country and some are hiding here and there. Our expertise in chasing terrorists has also developed."

Maliki's comments came just hours after a roadside bomb attack on a US military convoy in Baghdad's eastern Al-Baladiyat suburb, which an Iraqi security official said killed a 12-year-old girl and wounded three other civilians.

US military spokesman Major Winfield Danielson confirmed the attack but said there were no casualties

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20071111/wl_mi...3jheyCtVpebOrgF

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