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Last Updated: Tuesday March 21 2006 19:21 GMT

'Iraq not in civil war' says Bush

President Bush
US President George Bush has denied Iraq is in a state of civil war, and urged the country's leaders to try to beat the violence there.

Mr Bush said Iraqis had "had a chance to fall apart and they didn't".

Civil war is where rival groups in one country are fighting each other. But Mr Bush says the trouble in Iraq isn't bad enough to be defined as an actual war.

However, not everyone agrees, as former stand-in Prime Minister Iyad Allawi said the country was at civil war.

He said that that 50 to 60 people were being killed in violence there every day.

Mr Bush was speaking at the White House in Washington, and hinted that US troops would stay in Iraq until after 2009.

He added there were many people that disagreed with Mr Allawi's view, including President Jalal Talabani .

However, Mr Bush is also facing trouble at home, as lots of Americans no longer support him on the way he has handled the problems in Iraq.

Recent polls showed 65% of people in the US were against the way he dealt with the war.



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