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Baghdad Commander Says Borders With Iran and Syria To Close


The Iraqi commander of the U.S.-backed security crackdown in Baghdad says his country will close its borders with Iran and Syria for at least three days.

In a televised statement, Lieutenant General Abboud Gambar also said the capital's daily curfew will start three hours earlier. He detailed emergency style powers of the security operation including restricting public activities, searching public and private places, and examining mail.

The commander did not say when the country's borders with Iran and Syria will close.

In other news, Iraqi security officials say a suicide truck bombing near a college in western Baghdad has killed at least 15 people and wounded more than 30 others.

On Monday, a series of bombings in two predominantly Shi'ite markets in Baghdad killed at least 87 people, despite the security crackdown.

The U.S. has accused Damascus of not doing enough to prevent insurgents from entering Iraq through Syria.

The U.S. military has alleged that Iran is smuggling weapons into Iraq destined for Shi'ite militias. U.S. defense officials say the Iranian government is involved in supplying sophisticated roadside bombs.

In the latest casualty announced by the U.S. military, one American soldier was killed Sunday while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar province, west of Baghdad.

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