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Iraqi PM Criticizes Coalition Over Deadly Ambush --> Prime Minister Allawi (file photo) 26 October 2004 -- Interim Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi is blaming U.S.-led coalition forces for negligence in their handling of security for 49 Iraqi National Guardsmen killed recently in an ambush --> after leaving a training center.

Allawi called the killings of the unarmed soldiers "a heinous crime" and accused coalition forces of "great negligence." He did not elaborate.

Islamic militant Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi's group claimed responsibility for the attack, which took place on a remote highway in eastern Iraq when the U.S.-trained soldiers were returning home on leave on 24 October.

Allawi told the Iraqi National Council that the government expects an escalation in terrorist acts ahead of January's scheduled elections.

Interim Interior Minister Falah Hassan al-Naqib said today that more than 560 people have been killed in 92 suicide attacks in Iraq in the past four months.


[For more on events in Iraq, click here.]