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Iraqi PM: US military withdrawal on track

BAGHDAD (AP) - Iraq's prime minister says continued violence won't slow the U.S. military's withdrawal from his country.

Nouri al-Maliki told a news conference Wednesday that U.S. troops still will leave by a December 31, 2011 deadline included in a security agreement between Iraq and the United States.

He blamed a wave of bombings Tuesday on al-Qaida terrorists and former Baath Party extremists who he said wanted to derail Iraq's fragile political process.

The bombings killed nine people and wounded scores in Baghdad and Mosul.

They happened exactly a week after a series of suicide bombers in Baghdad killed 127 and injured more than 500. Massive bombings in August and October, also in Baghdad, killed 250.

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