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U.S. Says Iraq Planning Troop Increase --> Iraqi troops in training (RFE/RL) November 2, 2006 -- A U.S. military spokesman said today that Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has ordered a 12,000-man increase in the country's army to about 124,000.

Major General William Caldwell said 10,000 Iraqi men began training on
October 1 and would be in the field by the end of this month.

Meanwhile, in the latest violence, gunmen killed at least 12 people in
a series of attacks in the southern Diyala Governorate.

Earlier today, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani said that U.S. troops should stay for up to three more years in Iraq to allow Baghdad to build up its own security forces.

Talabani, speaking at the start of a weeklong visit to France, said his country was not in a civil war. However, he said that "international terrorists" were still concentrating their efforts in Iraq, and the country needed outside help to defeat them.

Talabani meets French President Jacques Chirac today.

(Reuters, AP, AFP)
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