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Insurgents Strike Iraqi Capital Despite Security Crackdown


Iraqi security officials say insurgents have carried out a series of deadly attacks across the capital, Baghdad, despite a major security crackdown.

Police say at least 23 people are dead and many others are wounded. The casualties followed a bombing and a mortar attack Saturday at two markets. Other bombs exploded in Baghdad neighborhoods.

Authorities say insurgents targeted civilians and police in the attacks. They blamed a suicide bomber for at least one.

The attacks come despite the deployment of tens of thousands of Iraqi and U.S. troops in Baghdad. They are part of a large-scale security crackdown that Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki ordered on Wednesday.

On Friday, a group linked to al-Qaida in Iraq The Mujahideen Shura Council said the insurgency will not weaken despite the death last week of insurgent leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

Meanwhile, the U.S. military in Iraq says the search continues for two American soldiers. They went missing on Friday after their team came under attack at a checkpoint southwest of Baghdad.

U.S. Major-General William Caldwell said today that America and Iraqi troops are searching for the missing soldiers. He said the U.S. will not give up until the men are found.

In another development, the military says one U.S. soldier died in the attack late Friday near Yusufiyah, 20 kilometers south of the capital.
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