(Baghdad, Iraq-AP) -- The commander of American forces in the city of Fallujah, where U.S. soldiers faced dozens of attacks in May and June, says anti-American violence has come to a virtual halt there.
Major General Buford C. Blount III, is commander of the 3rd Infantry Division, based at Fort Stewart, Georgia. He told reporters at his Baghdad headquarters that the drop in attacks has enabled him to reduce troops in Fallujah by 50 percent.
He did not give out exact troop levels, but said the number of 24-hour guard posts in the city has dropped from 300 to 150. He also has withdrawn half the soldiers in the city's police headquarters.
Third Infantry soldiers moved into Fallujah in early June, after units from the 82nd Airborne, followed by the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, faced a series of attacks. Blount says the number of attacks on his soldiers there has fallen from 20-25 a week about two months ago to zero this week.
Blount defended the decision to announce to 3rd Infantry family members on July 7th that they could expect the entire division home by the end of August. One week after that, Blount reversed course and said the soldiers' stay in Iraq would be extended.
Family members thought they had been misled, but Blount denied that.