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Saudi King Abdullah Denounces US Military Presence in Iraq


Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah has denounced the U.S. military presence in Iraq as an "illegitimate foreign occupation" and warned that sectarian bloodshed is leading to a civil war.

The king made his remarks, rare criticism from a key U.S. ally in the region, Wednesday, at the annual Arab League summit in the Saudi capital, Riyadh.

In violence Wednesday, an Iraqi army officer says 70 people were killed by gunmen in a Sunni district of the northern town of Tal Afar -- in apparent revenge for deadly bombings in a Shi'ite area.

The officer, General Khourshid al-Douski, says 30 people were wounded in the attack and another 40 are missing.

Medical officials say the victims had been shot in the head. Iraqi officials say Shi'ite policemen allegedly took part in the rampage.

Officials say the toll from two nearly simultaneous truck bombings Tuesday in a Shi'ite area of Tal Afar has risen to about 80 killed with more than 180 wounded.

In the western city of Fallujah, the U.S. military says suicide truck bombers carrying toxic chlorine attacked the government center Wednesday. The military says the attack was repulsed, but 15 U.S. and Iraqi security personnel were wounded.

Separately, the U.S. military says one civilian was killed and seven injured in a suicide bombing in the volatile city of Ramadi, west of Baghdad. The military also says coalition forces captured 19 suspected terrorists in raids across Iraq Wednesday.

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