Meanwhile, Iraq teeters on the brink'The Iraqi prime minister, Nuri al-Maliki, left Baghdad yesterday for talks with Tony Blair and George Bush about deteriorating security, on a day when more than 60 people died in bomb attacks.
The US and Iraqi forces are to pour more troops into the capital over the next few weeks to shore up Mr Maliki's high-profile security clampdown, which has so far failed to reduce violence. Bombs in the main Shia district of Baghdad killed 42 civilians, while a blast in the northern city of Kirkuk killed at least 20.
Mr Maliki, who became prime minister two months ago, has said his government represents the last chance for Iraq. The Foreign Office says privately that it is about 50-50 on whether Mr Maliki can produce a semblance of order to prevent the country sliding into civil war and eventually breaking up into three parts.'