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FACTBOX - U.S. outlines '07 operations against al Qaeda in Iraq

The U.S. military on Sunday gave a summary of last year's operations against Sunni Islamist al Qaeda in Iraq. The military regards the militant group as the greatest threat to peace in Iraq.Following is key information released at a news conference by U.S. military spokesman Rear Admiral Greg Smith:

** Al Qaeda in Iraq carried out more than 4,500 attacks against civilians in 2007. The group killed 3,870 civilians and wounded nearly 18,000.

** Military operations against al Qaeda in Iraq resulted in the capture of 8,800 militants, while 2,400 were killed. Those operations diminished the control and influence of al Qaeda.

** Captured al Qaeda in Iraq documents showed 750 militants from 22 countries entered Iraq during the 12 months leading up to August 2007. The documents suggested 90 percent of the group's suicide bombers were foreigners.

** Just under half the foreign fighters entering Iraq come from Saudi Arabia, followed by Libya, Yemen, Syria, Tunisia and Morocco.

** The majority of the al Qaeda in Iraq leadership is foreign while the rank-and-file are Iraqi.

** Violence by al Qaeda peaked in March and April of last year, but began to slowly decrease as a U.S. troop build-up reached its peak in the middle of the year.

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