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Italian Police Training Iraqi Forces

BAGHDAD -- The Italian police, or carabinieri, are providing Iraqi forces special training in rapid-response operations, security details, and riot control.

Iraqi police chief General Adnan Aufan told RFE/RL's Radio Free Iraq that the training will be used to protect Iraq's central bank, airports, foreign embassies, and archaeological sites.

More than 500 officers have already graduated with the advanced training, Interior Ministry spokesman Major-General Abdul-Karim Khalaf told RFE/RL.

Iraqi forces are preparing to take over responsibility for the country's security ahead of the 2011 U.S. withdrawal laid out in the two countries' security pact.