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Military Reports 40% Increase In Daily Baghdad Attacks...

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Iraq's top Shiite cleric urged his followers Thursday to refrain from reprisal violence against Sunnis, his strongest call yet for an end to increasing sectarian bloodshed. The statement by Grand Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani came as U.S. military officials reported a 40 percent increase in the daily average of attacks in the Baghdad area.

U.S. spokesman Maj. Gen. William Caldwell said there has been an average of 34 attacks a day against U.S. and Iraqi forces in the capital over the past five days. The daily average for the period June 14 until July 13 was 24 a day, he said.

Read the whole story at Associated Press