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U.S. Officials Cite Deterioration In Iraq --> 27 September 2004 -- U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell has said the insurgency in Iraq is getting worse.

Speaking in Washington, Powell said yesterday that militants want to disrupt elections in January, but he added that the United States will increase efforts to defeat them.

"It's within the Sunni Triangle that we have the problem and especially in certain parts of Baghdad and Sadr City. What's clear is the Iraqi people want to vote, and they should be given the opportunity to vote. And we cannot stand by and allow insurgents and terrorists to deny them that opportunity," Powell said yesterday.

The top U.S. military commander for Iraq, General John Abizaid, said he expects flawed elections and much violence ahead of voting.

Meanwhile, police say a car bomb exploded today in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul near an Iraqi National Guard patrol.

Witnesses said several people were killed or injured in the attack.

In Baghdad today, insurgents fired mortar bombs at a police academy in the eastern part of the capital. An Interior Ministry spokesman, Colonel Adnan Abd al-Rahman, said there were no reports of casualties or damage.

U.S. warplanes yesterday bombed the rebel stronghold of Al-Fallujah for the third time in 24 hours, aiming at what U.S. officials say aree suspected militants. Local medics say eight people were killed and 22 wounded. Local doctors say altogether 15 people have been killed and 30 wounded in the three attacks, among them women and children.

Another 10 people were killed at Latifiya, south of Baghdad, when insurgents attacked a convoy of petrol tankers escorted by Iraqi national guardsmen.


Related Stories: "Senior Iraqi Official Weighs In Over January Vote", "Iraqi Grand Ayatollah Insists On January Elections", "U.S. Defense Chief Says Iraqi Voting Might Be Limited", and "Visiting Iraqi Prime Minister Thanks U.S."