US turns over control of 12th Iraqi province

BABYLON, Iraq (AP) -- The Iraqi government has taken control of a province that includes a Sunni area once known as the "triangle of death."

The Iraqi government has now taken control of 12 of its 18 provinces.

The U.S. military's number two general in Iraq says security in Babil has improved at a remarkable rate. The number of attacks is down 80 percent in the last year, though Lt. General Lloyd Austin warns the enemy is down, "but not necessarily defeated." U.S. forces will stay behind to offer assistance when needed.

Next week the last southern province under U.S. control will be transfered to the Iraqis. It's an area that's been a pipeline for Iranian-backed militants and weapons into Iraq.

Also today, a suicide car bomber targeting a government convoy in Baghdad has killed at least 13 people.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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