Iraq attacks will not delay US withdrawal: White House

WASHINGTON- The United States said Tuesday that an upsurge of deadly bomb attacks in Baghdad would not compromise its goal of withdrawing all combat troops from Iraq by the end of August.
Six bombs earlier went off in Baghdad, killing at least 35 people, in the second spate of bloody attacks in three days, increasing fears that insurgents are making a return due to a political impasse following elections.

"I think many expected that insurgents would use this time to roll back the progress, both militarily and politically, that we've seen in Iraq," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said.
Gibbs said the White House was in touch with US ambassador to Baghdad Christopher Hill and US commander General Ray Odierno.
Odierno "believes that this does not threaten our ability to draw down our forces later in the year," Gibbs said, but added Washington was very focused on the steps needed to be taken by Iraqi leaders to form a government.
Iraqi officials say that groups that want to disrupt stability in the country are taking advantage of a power vacuum, as rival political leaders fight to form a government following elections last month.
The six bomb attacks in several neighborhoods of Baghdad on Tuesday killed 35 people and left 140 wounded.
The latest explosions come after three suicide vehicle bombings minutes apart targeted regional and European embassies, killing 30 people and wounding more than 200 on Sunday.
Obama has ordered all US combat troops be withdrawn from Iraq by the end of August and for all American soldiers to be out of the country by the end of 2011.

Tuesday, April 6th 2010

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