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Bush and Maliki Reiterate Commitment to Stopping Terrorists in Iraq


Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and President Bush spoke via videoconference on Monday about security developments in Iraq.

They pledged their mutual commitment to stopping terrorist activities throughout Iraq - a message meant to ease mounting tensions between Iraq and Turkey.

Iraqi officials say, overall, deadly violence in Iraq has declined since June, when the U.S. completed its buildup of forces in the region. Some 30,000 additional troops were deployed to provide stability in Iraq.

In violence Monday, Iraqi police say separate bomb blasts in Baghdad killed at least six people and wounded more than 20 others.

In other news, Reporters Without Borders is calling on Iraqi authorities to immediately establish a program to protect journalists working in the nation.

On Monday, the U.S.-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty said one of its correspondents is missing in Iraq.

The Prague-based broadcaster did not identify the reporter. It says police found the body of her driver shot and dumped in the street.

The broadcaster says she disappeared on her way to an interview in the capital.

Meanwhile, the Czech government has approved a plan to withdraw 80 of its 100 troops from Iraq. Czech Defense Minister Vlasta Parkanova made the announcement today in Prague. She said the troops, who are in southern Iraq, will operate in the region until mid-2008.

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

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