U.S. general vexed by pace of training

“They are trying to undermine all of Maliki’s successes and reduce his popularity,” Mr. Musawi said, but “the gains which we achieved are greater than anything they are trying to do.”

Some analysts, however, said the attacks had shattered attempts by Mr. al-Maliki to portray himself as a guardian of security ahead of nationwide parliamentary elections in January.

“Maliki is clearly the man who wanted to be the symbol of increasing security and security capabilities, and that is clearly not the case,” said International Crisis Group analyst Loulouwa al-Rachid.

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