Iraqi PM Says Government Has Defeated Terrorism

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq’s prime minister Nouri al-Maliki says his government has defeated terrorism in the country.

He says that thanks to the “will of the tribes, security forces, army and all Iraqis,” armed extremists who wanted to take over Baghdad have been defeated.

He was speaking at ceremonies marking the fifth anniversary of the 2003 assassination of a leading opponent of Saddam Hussein who was killed in a truck bombing in southern Iraq after returning from exile in Iran.

Such attacks plagued Iraq following the U.S.-led invasion, but violence in the country has now fallen to its lowest level in four years.

The change has been driven by a number of factors, including the 2007 build-up of American forces, the Sunni tribal revolt against al-Qaida in Iraq and al-Maliki’s crackdowns.