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Iraq: No Extension of US Withdrawal Date from Cities

The Iraqi government says the June 30 deadline for U.S. troops to withdraw from urban areas in Iraq cannot be extended.

Iraqi spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said Monday the government is committed to the departure timeline in the U.S.-Iraqi security agreement.

A rise in violence has prompted concern about whether Iraqi forces are ready to take over security responsibilities. Last week, U.S. commanders were considering whether they may need to keep forces in the northern city of Mosul beyond the June deadline, if Iraqi authorities ask them to stay.

The security agreement calls for American forces to pull back from cities by the end of June and the from rest of the country by the end of 2011.

In the latest violence, a car bomb exploded near the Iraqi Oil Ministry in Baghdad Monday, killing one person and wounding three others.

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