TAL AFAR, Iraq - Iraqi police in this provincial backwater got a tip earlier this month that a suicide bomber was on the loose. They were even given his name, age and a description of his car.
With all that, they still couldn't stop him.
Four days after the initial warning, 19-year-old Ashraf al-Yas talked his way through a police checkpoint, drove his vehicle into a crowded farmers market and detonated his explosives. He killed 28 people and injured 72.
The attack raised questions about whether Iraqi forces are yet capable of protecting civilians from determined extremists as across the country, the Americans hand over primary responsibility for security to Iraqi soldiers and police.
The U.S. insists the Iraqi army has made great progress in improving its operational capability. But there are still doubts about efficiency, training and professionalism among police, who must
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