US Says 12K Troops To Leave Iraq By September

BAGHDAD — Officials say about 12,000 U.S. soldiers will leave Iraq by September. But there would still be more than 120,000 U.S. troops there.

U.S. spokesman, Maj. Gen. David Perkins says Iraq’s security has “greatly improved, moving from a very unstable to a stable position.” He says violence was at its lowest level since the summer of 2003.

Word of the withdrawal plan came just hours after a Baghdad suicide bomber killed about 30 people. It was the worst attack in the Iraqi capital in months and injured about 60 other people.

Perkins describes it as a sign that U.S.-led coalition forces have militants on the run.

Suicide bombings are the signature attack of Sunni religious extremists, including al-Qaida. But no one has claimed responsibility.