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Chaos in Baghdad Has Military Worried

U.S. military commanders acknowledge that the Iraqi government's campaign to bring security to Baghdad is an abject failure. Violence in the capital has risen by about 40 percent in the past five days alone.

Iraq's top Shiite cleric has issued a new appeal for peace, but few seem to be listening.

At an unusually candid news conference, Brig. Gen. William Caldwell acknowledged things are not going as planned in the capital. Caldwell, the top American military spokesman in Iraq, stated clearly that the war for Iraq will be decided in the Baghdad's streets.


"Whoever wins the Baghdad area," the general said, "is going to set the conditions to stabilize this country."

For residents of the capital, the result has been a pervasive sense of instability. More than 4,500 bodies have shown up in the Baghdad morgue in the past two months alone. An additional 61 bodies, most apparently executed, arrived at the city morgue today.

In the meantime, thousands of Iraqis in the capital and elsewhere have given up hope of security and fled their homes. Iraq's Migration Ministry said more than 30,000 people had registered as internal refugees in July alone.

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