An Iraq car bomb in the city of Kut and a checkpoint attack in Baghdad left 25 people dead on Tuesday, as a wave of attacks continued amid the US combat troop withdrawal from Iraq.
The killing of five policemen in Baghdad on Tuesday came as President Barack Obama vowed again to fulfill an agreement with the Iraqi government to lower US troop levels from 80,000 to 50,000 by the end of August.
Gen. Ray Odierno, the top US commander in Iraq, said today that Al Qaeda is a diminished threat and that Iran has moved away from instigating violence. But he also said that Iraqi Shiite militants who trained in Iran are planning a major attack.
After the killing this week of the two top leaders of Al Qaeda in Iraq, officials in Baghdad said more important gains have recently been made in dismantling the group's networks.
US and Iraqi officials say DNA evidence proves they killed Abu Ayyub al-Masri, the key link between Al Qaeda internationally and its offshoot in Iraq, and Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, the senior Iraqi member of the group. But one analyst is skeptical.
Iraqi Army is being credited for finding and killing two top figures with Al Qaeda in Iraq, including leader Abu Ayyub al-Masri.
Iraq said Monday it had killed Abu Omar al-Baghdadi and Abu Ayyub al-Masri, allegedly two of the most senior members of Al Qaeda in Iraq. The US said DNA testing had confirmed their deaths.
Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks, allegedly the target of a group led by 'Jihad Jane,' relies on international policing efforts to stay safe. But safeguards are shifting as European views evolve on free speech and blasphemy.
Iraq's Foreign Minister Hoshyar al-Zebari said Thursday that security breaches explain how a second, similar attack could take place despite the many precautionary measures implemented after devastating Aug. 19 bombings.
The attacks underscore the security challenges after the US withdrawal from cities, particularly in the volatile areas in the north.