U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld also confirmed that U.S. officials have been involved in meetings with people connected to Iraqi insurgents. He provided no details.
Three militant groups -- Al-Qaeda in Iraq, the Ansar Al-Sunnah Army, and the Islamic Army in Iraq -- all denied in website statements that they had ever negotiated with United States or Iraqi officials to end the insurgency.
Rumsfeld also said that defeating the insurgency may take as long as 12 years. Rumsfeld said U.S.-led forces are seeking to create an environment in which the Iraqi people and Iraqi security forces can defeat the insurgents.
The comments came as at least 46 Iraqis and one U.S. soldier were reported killed on 26 June in a series of insurgent attacks in Mosul, around Baghdad, and elsewhere in Iraq.
(compiled from agency reports)
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