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Scattered Violence Reported In Iraq

(file photo) 25 June 2004 -- There are reports of scattered violence in Baghdad and Al-Fallujah today, one day after about 100 people were killed and several hundred injured in a series of apparently coordinated attacks in five Iraqi cities.

News agencies are reporting at least one roadside bomb exploded today in Baghdad, injuring several Iraqi policemen. In Al-Fallujah, west of Baghdad, hospital officials say two people were killed and seven wounded in sporadic fighting between insurgents and U.S. forces.

The violence yesterday occurred in Baghdad and Al-Fallujah, as well as in Al-Ramadi, Baquba, and the northern city of Mosul, where suicide bombings killed 62 people and injured 220.

Responsibility for the coordinated attacks has been claimed by a group led by Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian militant who is suspected of links with the Al-Qaeda terrorist group.

Iraqi officials have said they have good intelligence on al-Zarqawi and plan to pursue him more aggressively after the transfer of power next week, Iraq's interim national security minister said on 24 June.

"We can trace his movement and we can see...'fingerprints' in some of the areas," Muwafaq al-Rubay'i said on ABC's "Nightline" program, without offering details.

Al-Rubay'i said there would be "a lot of robust action" against insurgents once sovereignty is returned and Iraqis are the driving force in security matters.

"We will adopt a pre-emptive strike against these people," he said. "We are going to be much more proactive in our approach and we will not wait for them to come to Baghdad to do these massacres against our civilian people."

"We will be in stronger position after the 30th of June and for a very simple reason," al-Rubay'i said. Ordinary Iraqis "will see how al-Zarqawi and his gangsters are...indiscriminately killing civilian people, left, right, and center."