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Deadly Attacks Hit Iraq; Pentagon Urges Progress

In Iraq, insurgents conducted attacks across the country Tuesday, killing more than 20 people, including several Iraqi policemen and a U.S. soldier. In Washington, top Pentagon officials encouraged Iraqis to finish work on a new constitution on schedule.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld also said that insurgents are using explosives and other weapons that are "clearly, unambiguously from Iran" -- though he said it is unclear who is making or supplying the weapons.

Noting that Iraqi security forces are increasingly taking on insurgents without U.S. aid, Rumsfeld said that in the end, a new constitution would play a vital role in defusing violence in the country.

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Eric Westervelt is a San Francisco-based correspondent for NPR's National Desk. He has reported on major events for the network from wars and revolutions in the Middle East and North Africa to historic wildfires and terrorist attacks in the U.S.