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Page last updated at 19:01 GMT, Tuesday, 15 September 2009 20:01 UK

Attack on Baghdad as Biden visits

Joe Biden, centre, with US commander Lt Gen Ray Odierno and ambassador Christopher Hill 15.9.09
Joe Biden, centre, met US military leaders and senior officials in Iraq

Several mortars or rockets have been fired into the fortified Green Zone of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, police say.

The attacks took place while United States Vice-President Joe Biden was visiting the city.

The mortars or rockets landed near the US embassy. There was no immediate word on casualties, and Mr Biden's exact whereabouts were not known.

He had arrived earlier on a visit aimed at reducing tensions between Kurdish, Shia and Sunni Arab communities.

The attack came after the senior American commander in Iraq had told the BBC that he was concerned that Iraq will be forgotten amid the current focus on Afghanistan.

Gen Ray Odierno suggested there was always a risk that the security situation in Iraq could deteriorate and said he wanted to finish what had been started.

The US has 130,000 troops in Iraq, almost twice the number in Afghanistan.

The US troop count is due to drop quickly to about 50,000 by this time next year.



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