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Attacks on US Forces in Iraq Seen Very Likely to Continue - 2003-07-13

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld predicts militants loyal to ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein will continue their attacks against U.S.-led troops in Iraq.

Speaking on the NBC television show Meet the Press, Mr. Rumsfeld said the situation for U.S. soldiers in Iraq remains dangerous. "Is it a shooting gallery? Are people being shot at? Yes. Is it a difficult situation? You bet. Are more people going to be killed? I'm afraid that's true," Mr. Rumsfeld said.

The defense secretary said the violence is likely to continue. "There's even speculation that during the month of July, which is an anniversary for a lot of Baathist events, we could see an increase in the number of attacks," he explained.

There are currently about 147,000 U.S. troops and 13,000 other coalition troops in Iraq. Mr. Rumsfeld said the number could be increased, if necessary. But he said U.S. forces are recruiting Iraqi police and soldiers, and that as their numbers increase, U.S. troop strength will be decreased.