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Iran Offers Security Help to Visiting Iraqi Prime Minister


Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says he has offered to help Iraq bring its insurgency under control.

At a news conference in Tehran with visiting Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, Mr. Ahmadinejad said improved security in Iraq will enhance stability throughout the region.

Mr. Maliki met the Iranian president Tuesday at the beginning of a two-day visit.

In June, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, General George Casey, accused Iran of providing weapons technology and training to Shi'ite extremist groups in Iraq.

In Baghdad Tuesday, Iraqi police say a car bomb explosion killed at least six people in an upscale district of the city.

Gunmen killed four Kurds in the northern city of Mosul.

A court in Baghdad is hearing Kurdish witnesses in the trial of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein and six co-defendants, accused of ordering the death of tens of thousands of Iraqi Kurds during the 1980s.

At the trial Tuesday, one Kurdish villager told of his escape as Saddam's campaign against Kurds began in February 1988. His mother and sisters disappeared and, when he returned to his village, he found they had been buried in a mass grave.

Saddam repeated his contention Tuesday that the military offensive - known as the Anfal campaign - was aimed at Kurdish insurgents who had fought with Iran and against Iraq. He called Kurdish guerrillas Iranians and Zionists.

Before the judge switched off his microphone, Saddam shouted that any country faced with an insurgency would deploy the army to defeat it.

Prosecutors say the Anfal offensive killed 180,000 civilians.

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

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