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Iraqi Premier Raises Security Hopes

British Prime Minister Tony Blair (left) and al-Ja'fari in London today 27 June 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Ja'fari said in London today that security in his country can be established within two years.

Al-Ja'fari said after talks with British Prime Minister Tony Blair that two years "will be enough and more than enough" to restore security in Iraq.

U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld suggested yesterday that the Iraqi insurgence could go on for as long as 12 years.

Blair in turn said the growing number of attacks against civilians is the insurgents' way to respond to increasing pressure from the Iraqi and multinational forces.

"[Prime Minister al-Ja'fari] was explaining to me that one of the reasons why the terrorists are targeting, increasingly, civilians -- and civilians in the most innocent circumstances and vulnerable circumstances -- is precisely because they [insurgents] are feeling the pressure now, not just of the multinational force but, increasingly, of Iraqi security forces themselves."

Meanwhile, in Iraq, at least nine Iraqis were killed in three separate attacks today -- two in Baghdad and one near the northern oil city of Kirkuk.

And the U.S. military said that two U.S. crewmen died when their Apache attack helicopter crashed today northwest of Baghdad. It was not immediately clear what caused the crash.


More on Iraq:

"U.S. Acknowledges Talks With Iraqi Insurgents"

"Two U.S. Pilots Killed In Helicopter Crash"

"Former Iraqi Premier Urges Cooperation With Syria"