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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 July 2006, 17:30 GMT 18:30 UK
US boosts Baghdad security force
Iraqi PM Nouri Maliki and US President George W Bush
The two leaders want to end violence in the Iraqi capital
US President George W Bush has announced that US troops will be redeployed to Baghdad to combat the deteriorating security situation.

The deployments would "better reflect the current conditions on the ground", he said at a joint news conference in Washington with Iraqi PM Nouri Maliki.

The troops would help to secure suburbs where militants operated, he said.

An average of more than 100 civilians per day were killed in Iraqi violence in May and June, according to the UN.

The security plan is the second announced for Baghdad in the past six weeks.

Iraq has experienced an upsurge in sectarian violence in recent months. Last Sunday at least 34 people were killed in a blast in Sadr City - a mainly Shia area in the capital.

'Fundamental base'

Mr Bush said the strategy, which would also involve Iraqi security personnel, would see more US military police embedded with Iraqi police units.

He said additional US troops and Iraqi forces would deployed in the coming weeks and would be taken from "other areas of the country".

"Coalition and Iraqi forces will secure individual neighbourhoods, will ensure the existence of an Iraqi security presence in the neighbourhoods and gradually expand the security presence".

Mr Bush added they would also work with forces on the ground to "equip them with greater mobility, firepower and protection".

Mr Maliki said the security plan "represents the fundamental base in order to stabilise the country and to have security and to defeat terrorism".

Earlier, White House spokesman Tony Snow admitted that a plan brought in six weeks ago to improve security in the Iraqi capital "has not achieved its objectives".

"It's pretty clear that there's an attempt in Baghdad to create as much chaos and havoc as possible," he said, quoted by the Associated Press news agency.

"And it's important to make sure that we address this."

When the two leaders met in Baghdad last month, President Bush offered support to a newly-formed government which had just been boosted by the killing of the insurgent leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

The mood then was unusually positive, reports the BBC's James Coomarasamy in Washington - but this latest meeting comes on the back of a failed security operation in Baghdad.

Struggling security

Baghdad's current security plans, brought by the Iraqi government six weeks ago, have seen thousands of extra Iraqi troops on the streets, backed by US forces.

Aftermath of car bomb in Sadr City on Sunday
There have been an increasing number of attacks and killings
Extra checkpoints have been set up to search vehicles in many parts of the city, overnight curfews have been extended and raids conducted on suspected insurgent hideouts.

But a huge blast in the suburb of Sadr City early this month, forced the government to review its plan.

Some 66 people were killed and more than 100 others injured in the attack, prompting an emergency meeting of the cabinet's security committee.

Other attacks have been carried out every day in different parts of the city, including bombings, abductions and sectarian killings.

Last Friday, authorities extended a curfew banning traffic in the capital during Friday prayers in an attempt to stem the violence.

Mr Maliki's meeting with President Bush comes after a visit to London on Monday where he held talks with British Prime Minister Tony Blair.


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US and Iraqi leaders hold news briefing






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