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Iraq Urges International Help for Nations Hosting Iraqi Refugees


Iraq is calling on the international community to assist nations who are hosting the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who have fled the war-torn country.

The secretary general of Iraq's foreign ministry, Mohammed al-Haji Hmoud, made the plea Thursday, at an international conference in Jordan discussing ways to deal with the refugees.

The United Nations estimates that some 750,000 Iraqi refugees have fled to Jordan, while some 1.4 million Iraqis have fled to Syria in recent years. Amman says hosting the Iraqis in Jordan has cost the country about $1 billion a year.

In other news Thursday, a roadside bomb killed five Iraqi security personnel on patrol between Hillah and Diwaniyah, while five others were killed while carrying out a raid near Tikrit.

The U.S. military says coalition forces detained 36 suspected terrorists in raids today targeting al-Qaida in Iraq.

Wednesday, car bomb attacks in Baghdad killed at least 50 people, many of them celebrating an Iraqi national team victory in the Asia Cup football (soccer) tournament.

Authorities say more than 130 people were wounded in two separate attacks in the Mansour and Ghadeer districts. A car bomb exploded near a crowd of jubilant Iraqis in Mansour, while a suicide car bomber attacked an army checkpoint in Ghadeer near many fans.

Thousands of people had poured into the streets after the Iraqi team beat South Korea to reach the Asia Cup final, in Jakarta.

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

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