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U.S. commander warns of fresh wave of violence in Iraq

By Xinhua,

BAGHDAD : A senior U.S. military commander warned Wednesday that violence may outbreak in Iraq following the announcement of country’s election results.

“The Iraqi people reject violence and extremism, but there are those who do not want the provincial councils to be successful,” Lieutenant General Lloyd Austin, the No. 2 U.S. commander in Iraq, told reporters.

Austin said that there is a possibility of violence wave after the preliminary poll result which expected to be announced on Thursday.

He expressed the hope that those are not elected will support those elected, instead of raising tensions.

Austin pledged to continue support the Iraqi security forces to ensure stability and safeguard security gains.

He also said that al-Qaida still have the ability to conduct sophisticated attacks against civilian targets, though their performance is weaker than last year after many military operations struck their cells across the country.

Meanwhile, he accused Iran of continuing supporting Shiite militias in Iraq by providing weapons, training and funding.

He said the U.S. troops recently found Iranian made rockets and mortar rounds in Iraq, though the number of weapons found has decreased due to better control of the borders and U.S.-Iraqi military operations.

The recent findings “lead us to believe that Iranian support activity is still ongoing,” he said.