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A spate of bombings around Baghdad on Sunday killed 34 people, including at least four Iraqi policemen, three soldiers and several civilians shopping in local markets and preparing to break their fasts to mark the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

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The good news, according to the United States' main military man in Iraq, Lt. Gen. David Petraeus, is that American troops have succeeded in taking hold of two main insurgent hot spots, Ramadi and Baquba. The bad news: Petraeus is speculating that the situation in Iraq will get worse before it gets better -- and that U.S. forces might need to stay there for many years.

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