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US base in Iraq under rocket attack
Sun, 24 Apr 2011 15:57:46 GMT
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US forces in Iraq
Security sources say a Untied States military base in eastern Iraq has come under a second rocket attack in less than a week.

Three Katyusha rockets hit the Echo Army base near the city of Diwaniyah late on Saturday, Fars News Agency reported on Sunday. The projectiles are reported to have been fired from the southern parts of the city.

American helicopters were dispatched on a search mission soon after the incident. No human or material losses have been reported so far.

Last Sunday, three rockets were similarly fired at the base. The incident was described as the third attack to take place over a week.

Militancy rages on in Iraq in the eighth year of the US-led military presence in the violence-wrecked country.

In August 2010 Washington's combat mandate expired but it left 50,000 troops in Iraq for what it called 'advising and training' purposes.

The US military released statements on separate dates earlier in the year, saying its soldiers had died during 'operations' across Iraq in contradiction to Washington's claims that it has wrapped up military action in the country.

The deaths took to 4,450 the number of the American forces killed since 2003, when the US led the invasion of the violence-wrecked country.

Over one million Iraqis have suffered violent deaths as a result of the occupation, according to a study conducted by the prestigious British polling group, Opinion Research Business.

The US is obligated to withdraw the forces by the end of the year in line with a bilateral accord.

US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has, however, pled for extension of the military presence.

The US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen also said recently that Washington would "keep some American troops in the country” at, what he called, Baghdad's request.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's office said on Saturday that the US military presence will not be extended.

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