British troops currently oversee a multinational contingent including Japanese and Australian soldiers in Al-Muthana.
This will be the first of Iraq's 15 provinces outside the relatively peaceful north to be placed under full Iraqi control.
Meanwhile, U.S. and Iraqi troops are in the midst of an operation to flush out insurgents from their western stronghold of Al-Ramadi. The offensive involves U.S. tanks, helicopters, and war planes.
In Baghdad, at least four civilians were killed by a car bomb at an Iraqi Army checkpoint despite an ongoing security crackdown in the capital involving thousands of additional Iraqi and U.S. troops.
(compiled from agency reports)
RFE/RL Iraq Report
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