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Iraqi Official: 46,000 Refugees Returned Last Month


An Iraqi military official says more than 46,000 refugees returned to Iraq last month.

Brigadier General Qassim al-Moussawi said Wednesday that border authorities recorded the returns in crossings in October.

Al-Moussawi says the large number of returning refugees is a sign that U.S. and Iraqi forces have succeeded in reducing violence in recent months, particularly in Baghdad.

In other news Wednesday, a suicide car bomber struck the office of the Kurdistan Democratic Party in the northern city of Kirkuk. One person was reported killed and 16 wounded, including a KDP member.

Also, the police chief of the southern city of Basra Major General Abdul-Jalil Khalaf escaped a roadside bomb attack on his convoy. It was the second assassination attempt against him in less than a week.

Elsewhere, gunmen killed a female teacher in a drive-by shooting in Baghdad's mainly Sunni Mansour district.

Iraqi officials say troops have found 17 decomposed bodies in a mass grave near the town of Hashimiyat, north of Baghdad. They say most of the bodies appear to have been at the site for months.

The U.S. military said Wednesday that coalition forces killed six terrorists and detained nine suspects during operations since Saturday to disrupt al-Qaida and foreign terror networks in central and northern Iraq.

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

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