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U.S., UN Officials Say Iraq Violence Down Sharply

Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad

Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations says violence has decreased sharply in Iraq, but the country still faces serious threats from militants.

Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad told the Security Council that killings of Iraqi civilians and U.S. and Iraqi security forces have declined by more than 80 percent since June, 2007.

But he said Iraq still faces serious threats from Al-Qaeda, Iranian-backed fighters, and other militants.

The top UN envoy to Iraq, Staffan de Mistura, told the Security Council that signs of what he called "normal daily life" are increasingly visible in Iraq, but warned of possible flare-ups of violence in connection with a series of elections planned for next year.

-- compiled from agency reports