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Series of Attacks Kill 43 in Baghdad


A series of near simultaneous rocket and bomb attacks in the Iraqi capital have killed at least 43 people and wounded more than 100.

The attacks Thursday evening targeted mainly Shi'ite areas of Baghdad, and occurred despite an intensified U.S.-Iraqi security clampdown.

Earlier Thursday, Iraq's prime minister said Iraqi forces may be responsible for security for most of the country by the end of this year.

Nouri al-Maliki said the province of Dhi Qar will be handed over to Iraqi forces next month, and that other areas will follow.

On Wednesday, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, General George Casey, said that with little coalition support, Iraqi forces may be ready within a year to 18 months to take over security responsibilities for Iraq.

In other violence Thursday, a British diplomatic convoy came under attack in the Iraqi capital. British officials say no one inside the vehicles was injured.

Elsewhere, assailants shot and killed two brothers at their shop in Baquba, and a former official in Saddam Hussein's government, Wajeeh Thirar Hneyfish was shot dead in Ramadi.

The U.S. military says a bomb killed an American soldier Wednesday.

Some 60 people were killed in a series of attacks in Iraq Wednesday.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.
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