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By BARRY SCHWEID
About six in 10 Iraqis say they approve of attacks on U.S.-led forces, and slightly more than that want their government to ask U.S. troops to leave within a year, a poll finds.
The Iraqis also have negative views of Osama bin Laden, according to the early September poll of 1,150.
The poll, done for University of Maryland’s Program on International Policy Attitudes, found:
The PIPA poll, which included an oversample of 150 Sunni Iraqis, has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
The State Department, meanwhile, has conducted its own poll, something it does periodically, spokesman Sean McCormack said. The State Department poll found two-thirds of Iraqis in Baghdad favor an immediate withdrawal of U.S. forces, according to The Washington Post. McCormack declined to discuss details of the department’s poll.
"What I hear from government representatives and other anecdotal evidence that you hear from Iraqis that is collected by embassy personnel and military personnel is that Iraqis do appreciate our presence there," he said. "They do understand the reasons for it, they do understand that we don’t want to or we don’t intend to be there indefinitely."
An Iraqi public opinion research firm with a proven record of conducting scientifically valid surveys conducted the department’s poll, press officer Janelle Hironimus said later.
"We will not identify the firm in order to protect it and its employees from danger," she said.
Iraqi officials have said Iraq’s security was improving and expanding throughout the country, and most U.S. troops might be able to leave eventually.
Last week, Iraqi President Jalal Talibani told the United Nations that coalition forces should remain in Iraq until Iraqi security forces are "capable of putting an end to terrorism and maintaining stability and security."
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Copyright © 2006 The Associated Press