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Last Updated: Thursday, 21 July, 2005, 10:46 GMT 11:46 UK
Baghdad hit by fresh bomb attacks
Iraqi soldier in Baghdad
Iraqi forces, the pentagon says, are not ready to face the insurgents
At least eight Iraqis have died in a series of attacks by Iraqi insurgents in and around Baghdad.

A suicide car bomber attacked an army patrol in Mahmoudiya, 30km (19 miles) south of Baghdad, killing five soldiers and wounding nine.

A policeman was killed and eight others wounded by a car bomb in the capital, and two civilians died in a separate attack, also in the capital.

Reports speak of a series of attacks across Iraq killing six others.

As the wave of attacks continues, a newly-declassified assessment by the US Defense Department says about half of Iraq's new police battalions are still being established and cannot conduct operations against insurgents, the News York Times has reported.

The report goes on to say that the other half of the police force and about two-thirds of the army are only "partially capable" of carrying out operations against insurgents with the help of US forces.

The newspaper comments that this is the most detailed assessment of the capabilities of the Iraqi security forces by the Pentagon.

The current policy if the US administration is that the 150,000 US servicemen in Iraq will remain there until the Iraqi security forces are ready to provide security in Iraq.


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Violence continues to claim lives in Baghdad



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