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Iraqi Insurgents Being 'Brought To Their Knees'

Baghdad, 23 January 2004 (RFE/RL) -- A top U.S. general says Iraqi insurgent forces have been "brought to their knees."

Major General Raymond Odierno also said he thought there would be a return to "some normalcy" within six months.

General Odierno commands the 4th Infantry Division occupying an area north of Baghdad up to the oil fields of Kirkuk and the border of Iran.

He said the capture of deposed President Saddam Hussein "was a major operational and psychological defeat for the enemy." Odierno said an important outcome of Hussein's capture had been an increase in accurate intelligence given by Iraqis.

But correspondents say security in Iraq remains fragile. In the latest violence, two Iraqi policemen were killed yesterday and three others wounded when gunmen fired on a police checkpoint between Al-Fallujah and Al-Ramadi, two insurgency hotspots west of Baghdad.