Hoshyar Zebari: Iraqi foreign minister doubts new civil war on horizon

UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- Iraq's foreign minister says he doubts the escalating violence in the country will lead to "an all-out sectarian or civil war."

Hoshyar Zebari gave several reasons in an interview Saturday with The Associated Press: the Shiite, Sunni and other communities "know their limits;" the violence is limited mainly to Baghdad and its suburbs; and Sunni and Shiite religious leaders have edicts against killing each other's followers.

More than 4,500 people have been killed since April in a surge of violence by insurgents aimed at undermining confidence in the government. The growing unrest has intensified fears of renewed war between Shiites and Sunnis.

Zebari said the United States has responded positively to Iraq's request for military equipment and counterterrorism and intelligence assistance, but a request for drones is still "being processed."

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