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Iraqi PM Urges Neighbors to Unite Against 'Evil Forces'

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has asked neighboring countries to help stop what he calls "evil forces" from destabilizing the region.

Mr. Maliki made the appeal Sunday at a Baghdad conference attended by Iraq's neighbors and delegations from the United Nations, European Union and the Group of Eight industrialized nations.

Mr. Maliki said neighboring countries could face terrorism themselves unless they work seriously to prevent it from happening.

The prime minister defended his government's performance, saying it had achieved great victories despite economic destruction left by the former regime.

In other developments, the U.S. military says it has killed the al-Qaida fighter who organized last month's multiple truck-bomb attack against two Yazidi villages in northern Iraq - a series of fiery blasts that killed more than 400 people.

The military says Abu Muhammad al-Afri, a regional leader of al-Qaida in Iraq, died in a coalition air strike on September 3 near the northern city of Mosul.

The U.S. military also said one American soldier was killed and two were wounded Sunday during combat in western Baghdad. An Iraqi interpreter with the U.S. forces also was wounded.

Elsewhere, Iraqi officials said gunmen attacked a police station near the town of Tikrit, killing five policemen.

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