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Five Iraqi Soldiers Killed in Attack Near Samarra


Iraqi police say gunmen have killed five Iraqi soldiers at a checkpoint near the town of Samarra.

Officials say three people were injured in the attack Tuesday.

In other news, the British military said three militants were killed in a raid on a weapons-smuggling operation in southern Iraq.

The British military said a British helicopter carried out the airstrike in the town of al-Majar al-Kabir, near Iran.

Also, insurgents today fired a barrage of mortars into the heavily fortified Green Zone. There was no immediate word on casualties or damage.

Iraq's foreign minister has warned against a quick withdrawal of foreign troops from Iraq. In comments Monday, Hoshyar Zebari said such a pull-out could create a security vacuum that may lead to a civil war, regional conflicts and the collapse of the Iraqi government.

He said Iraqi officials have discussed the issue with members of the U.S. Congress. He said he understands the mounting pressure in the United States for progress toward stability in Iraq.

Violence in recent days has killed more than 250 people in Iraq. A single truck bombing Saturday in a northern Iraqi village left at least 150 dead.

Attacks on Monday killed at least 22 people, including nine Iraqi troops who died in a roadside bombing north of Baghdad.

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