U.S. reports sharp drop in attacks on Iraq infrastructure

The U.S. military has reported a major decline in attacks on Iraqi vital facilities.

Officials said attacks against Iraq's vital infrastructure have decreased by 60 percent over the last three months. They said the reduction reflected the development and capabilities of Iraqi security forces.

On April 13, Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition, said Iraqi security forces have successfully protected vital infrastructure sites. Lynch said Iraq's military and security forces comprise 250,000 trained and equipped Iraqi personnel, Middle East Newsline reported.

"We're taking the fight to the enemy specifically in Baghdad with the presence we have on the ground," Lynch said.

[On Monday, Sunni insurgents attacked the government headquarters in Ramadi, the capital of the Anbar province. U.S. Marines were said to have repelled the insurgents, who included suicide car bombers.]

Iraq has been operating the Facility Protection Service, with a reported force of 150,000 people and assigned to guard official buildings, power stations and other sites. On April 12, Interior Minister Bayan Jabr said the force was not under his control and could be under the influence of the Iraqi insurgency.

Lynch, who did not discuss FPS, said insurgency attacks in the Anbar province have decreased from an average of 27 per day in October 2005 to about 18 a day in April. He said that patrols in Baghdad have risen from 12,000 in February to 20,000 in March.

[On Monday, U.S. troops helped defend Iraqi security forces from a Sunni insurgency strike in Baghdad. The battle, which lasted about seven hours, was launched by 50 insurgents.]

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