Iraq approves military pact with US

Presidential council backs deal as Falluja attacks underscore on-going security concerns.

    Iraqi forces are expected to increasingly take responsibility for the country's security [Reuters]

    The presidential council approval came as suicide bombers killed 17 people and wounded nearly 150 in Falluja.

    A senior police officer said explosives-laden lorries were detonated near concrete barriers surrounding two separate police stations in Falluja on Thursday.

    A school near one of the posts collapsed following the explosion, an interior ministry official said, injuring several schoolchildren.

    Falluja is one of the main cities in al-Anbar province, which was the centre of the Sunni-led fight against US forces in the months following America's March 2003 invasion.

    Also on Thursday, two US soldiers were killed and nine Iraqis wounded in a suicide car bombing in the northern city of Mosul.

    Elsewhere in northern Iraq, four fighters were killed and dozens detained in US operations targeting al-Qaeda in the north of the country, the US military said.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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