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MID: Iraq violence may endure as US troops pullout: Gates

01 Jul 2009 2:59 AM

US Defence Secretary ROBERT GATES says Al-Qaeda and others are trying to increase the level of violence in Iraq to pretend that they forced the Americans out of the cities.

GATES says he expects there will be sporadic attacks .. as people try and take advantage of the US withdrawal.

He says while US troops are leaving the cities .. some 133-thousand US soldiers are still stationed in Iraq.

As the US troops pull out .. Iraqi security forces are jubilantly parading in tanks and armoured vehicles .. as they take control of their country's towns and cities.

However .. jubilation has been marred by a car bomb that killed 26 people and injured 70 in Kirkuk.