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Iraqi PM: Iraqi Troops Ready to Take Over Security


Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki says Iraqi forces are ready to provide full security in the nation whenever U.S. troops leave.

Mr. Maliki told reporters Saturday that Iraqi troops can assume complete responsibility for security at any time. But he added that those forces still need more training and equipment.

In a separate development, an aide to former deputy prime minister Ahmed Chalabi said the politician survived an assassination attempt south of Baghdad. Further details have not been confirmed.

In the same region, the U.S. military in Iraq said troops discovered 46 rocket launchers aimed at a U.S. army base on Thursday. The statement said 34 of the launchers were armed with Iranian rockets.

In eastern Baghdad, U.S.-led forces said Iraqi and coalition forces killed an insurgent cell commander on Wednesday. Separately in the capital, two coalition soldiers were killed and one was wounded by explosions during two separate patrols Saturday.

Reuters news agency said an Iraqi translator it employed was killed along with his two brothers near Diyala bridge in Baghdad on Wednesday. The agency said it appears to have been a sectarian killing.

Reuters described the deceased translator as "cheerful and polite," and said he is survived by two young daughters and a wife.

Also Saturday, the U.S. military said troops killed six terrorists and detained 18 suspects during operations in central and northern Iraq.

The military said troops engaged a group of armed men using women and children as human shields in Diyala province. It said troops called in an airstrike that killed six of the terrorists after the civilians were released.

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

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