Iraq attacks lowest since invasion year

BAGHDAD (AP) -- A top American general in Iraq says there were fewer attacks in November than in any month since 2003.

Army Lt. Gen. Lloyd Austin says al-Qaida's ability to plan and capitalize on attacks has been "significantly degraded." He gives part of the credit to the increased number of Iraqi security forces on the streets, plus the recent arrests of a number of key al-Qaida figures.

But Austin says insurgents are still trying to chip away at public confidence, noting the several attacks over the past few days. He says al-Qaida is trying to intimidate the civilian population, and draw media attention.

Austin thinks the transition to increased Iraqi oversight in U.S. military operations will be smooth under the new security agreement that takes effect next year.

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

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