Iraqi lawmaker blames U.S. for violence

June 15, 2011 at 11:01 AM   |   Comments

BAGHDAD, June 15 (UPI) -- U.S. military forces are responsible for the deteriorating security situation in Iraq, an Iraqi lawmaker said in response to a deadly explosion.

A suicide bomber struck Monday near a provincial headquarters building in Basra, killing five people, including three police officers. Another 29 people were injured in the attack.

Iraqi lawmaker Uday Awad accused U.S. forces of having a role in the attack against the headquarters.

"The occupation is responsible for the weakness of the security in Iraq, in an attempt to strengthen their presence in the country, contrary to the security agreement between Iraq and the U.S.," he was quoted by the Voices of Iraq news agency as saying.

Washington under the terms of a bilateral status of forces agreement signed in 2008 is required to pull its remaining military forces out of Iraq by the end of 2011.

CIA Director Leon Panetta told the Senate Armed Services Committee last week that Iraq was considering asking U.S. troops to stay beyond the Dec. 31 withdrawal deadline spelled out in the agreement.

Iraqi forces stormed a government building in Baquba after a hostage situation left 11 people dead early this week.

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