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President Bush Plans to Shift More Troops to Baghdad

Iraqi Prime Minister al-Maliki met with President Bush Tuesday in Washington to discuss security concerns in Baghdad. President Bush announced that more U.S. troops will be redeployed to Baghdad to combat increasing violence. Experts discuss President Bush's latest move and security in the Iraqi capital.

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  • KWAME HOLMAN:

    The news out of the Iraqi capital in recent weeks has been grim. Daily attacks on Iraqi security forces, government officials, and civilians.

    More than 30 people were killed in this attack on Sunday. A suicide bomber detonated his explosives at the entrance of a bustling marketplace in the Shiite Sadr City part of Baghdad; 17 more were wounded.

    Iraq's new government tightened security in the capital just six weeks ago. Thousands of extra Iraqi security forces were brought in, additional checkpoints set up, driving restrictions and curfews imposed. But that has done little to stop the spiraling violence, in a city that is home to 7.5 million, nearly a third of Iraq's people.

    Protecting civilian lives dominated the meeting between President Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki today. They said more U.S. troops would be moved from other parts of Iraq to bolster security in Baghdad.

    GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States: Coalition and Iraqi forces will secure individual neighborhoods, will ensure the existence of an Iraqi security presence in the neighborhoods, and gradually expand the security presence, as Iraqi citizens help them root out those who instigate violence.

    This plan will involve embedding more U.S. military police with Iraqi police units to make them more effective. Our military commanders tell me that this deployment will better reflect the current conditions on the ground in Iraq.

    NOURI AL-MALIKI, Prime Minister, Iraq (through translator): We are determined to defeat terrorism, and the security plan for Baghdad has entered the second phase, and it's achieving it's objectives in hunting the terrorist networks and eliminating it.

  • KWAME HOLMAN:

    But the spike in violence has not been limited to the capital. A recent U.N. report says nearly 6,000 civilians were killed across Iraq in May and June, an average of 100 lives a day. About the same number were wounded during that two-month period.

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