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U.S. Fears New Surge Of Al Qaeda Violence

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An Iraqi soldier patrols through a devastated neigbourhood of Baquba, 60 kms north of Baghdad, on August 2, 2008, during a military operation. The Iraqi military backed by US forces are on the fifth day of an offensive aimed at flushing out Al-Qaeda in the restive northern province of Diyala. The raids took place in the centre of Baquba, where 50,000 Iraqi soldiers and police began a major push against insurgents this week to secure the volatile region. AFP PHOTO/ALI YUSSEF (Photo credit should | Getty

BAGHDAD -- As the United States prepares to withdraw its troops from Iraq by year's end, senior American and Iraqi officials are expressing growing concern that Al Qaeda's offshoot here, which just a few years ago waged a debilitating insurgency that plunged the country into a civil war, is poised for a deadly resurgence.

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