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Coalition Forces Kill 2 Suspected Al-Qaida Militants in Iraq

The U.S. military in Iraq says coalition forces have killed two suspected al-Qaida militants and detained 33 others in separate operations in central and northern Iraq.

In one incident, a military statement says militants with ties to an al-Qaida in Iraq bombing network opened fire on coalition troops south of Mosul Saturday. It says the troops responded, killing one armed militant and detaining nine others.

The military says coalition forces also discovered and destroyed a terrorist hideout in a town southwest of Mosul Saturday. It says the forces killed one suspected militant in a clash at the hideout.

In another development, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki says negotiations with the United States on a long-term security agreement have reached a "dead end." But he says talks are ongoing despite what he calls "unacceptable" U.S. demands that infringe on Iraq's sovereignty.

Bush administration officials said the United States fully respects Iraq's sovereignty and intends to continue working on the negotiations.

U.S. and Iraqi officials have been negotiating an agreement to allow American forces to remain in Iraq beyond December 31, when their U.N. mandate expires. They also are pursuing a separate accord addressing future political and economic ties.

In another development, the U.S. military said coalition forces captured two suspected militants during a raid Saturday in the city of al-Kut, southeast of Baghdad.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.