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Iraq Daily Update 11/06/07

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2007 DEADLIEST YEAR FOR U.S. TROOPS

Bombs kill five U.S. soldiers in Iraq. The military announced Tuesday the deaths of five more soldiers, making 2007 the deadliest year of the war for U.S. troops. The soldiers were killed Monday in two separate roadside bomb attacks. [AP, 11/6/07]

VIOLENCE CONTINUES TO RAGE IN IRAQ

22 bodies found in mass grave northwest of Baghdad. The U.S. military said the grave was discovered northwest of Baghdad during a joint U.S.-Iraqi operation. The bodies were wearing heavy clothes, indicating they may have been killed last winter. Last month the Iraqi police reported finding 25 bodies in a mass grave nearby. An Anbar provincial police official, Col. Jubair Rashid Naief, said he believed that these were not the same bodies, making this the second mass grave found in the area in less than a month. [AP, 11/6/07]

TENSIONS CONTINUE ALONG IRAQ-TURKEY BORDER

President Bush promises to increase intelligence cooperation with Turkey. In a White House meeting with Turkey's prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Bush promised that U.S. and Turkish militaries would work together to fight the Kurdish rebel group, the P.K.K. President Bush called the group "an enemy of Turkey, a free Iraq and the United States of America." Bush promised to increase intelligence cooperation with Turkey, hoping to head off any significant Turkish military operation in Iraq, but declined to say how the U.S. would react if Turkish forces entered northern Iraq. Mr. Erdogan has made clear that he has not yet ruled out more aggressive steps in fighting the rebels. "Turkey has no patience left to deal with mechanisms which have been dragging over time, which were tried but did not yield any results," Erdogan said at an appearance at the National Press Club. "Turkey expects from the United States and the central Iraqi government concrete and urgent steps which will put a final end to P.K.K. terrorism emanating from northern Iraq." [NY Times, 11/6/07]

RECONSTRUCTION CONTINUES TO BE MISMANAGED

Baghdad police academy remains in poor condition. More than a year ago, U.S. inspectors found giant cracks in newly built walls and ceilings dripping with excrement. In response to the inspectors' findings the Parsons Corporation, the American contractor in Iraq chosen to build the Baghdad academy, said it would fix the problems at no cost to the U.S. But since Parsons made that promise in 2006, the Iraqi police academy remains largely unusable. Parsons now says it fixed the problem, directing an Iraqi subcontractor to correct the problems at no additional charge. The project is one of the most visible examples of the $45 billion American reconstruction program that is widely seen as a failure. [NY Times, 11/6/07]