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White House defends lifting of Iraq checkpoints [View All]

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Barrett808 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-01-06 05:16 PM
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White House defends lifting of Iraq checkpoints
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WASHINGTON (AFP) - The White House defended lifting a blockade around the flashpoint Baghdad suburb of Sadr City, saying it was still committed to fighting insurgents and finding an abducted US soldier.

"We're continuing to go after them. So there is no slackening of the desire to go after the people who are creating violence," said spokesman Tony Snow, who stressed that the checkpoints were choking off economic activity.

"There was a real concern that for a lot of Iraqis trying to get to work, they had to wait two or three hours just to get through a checkpoint, and it was becoming a real problem for a lot of people," said Snow.

Iraqi Shiite militants earlier claimed a major political victory after Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's office announced that he had ordered US and Iraqi units to end the clampdown on Sadr City.

US commanders believe Shiite gunmen may be holding a kidnapped US soldier in Sadr City, and since last week their troops had been maintaining a cordon of checkpoints and roadblocks around the area.

"We are still looking for him," Snow said.


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