WASHINGTON - US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld extended the tours of nearly 4,000 US troops in Iraq for 120 days Thursday to help quell sectarian violence in Baghdad, the Pentagon said.

The Pentagon also identified four other brigades for deployment to Iraq late this year and early next, enough to maintain the US force at about 130,000 troops for a year.

"Additionally, the secretary of defense approved a request by the commander of Multi-National Forces-Iraq (MNF-I) to extend the deployment of the 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team operating in Iraq for up to 120 additional days," it said.

07/27/2006 20:06 GMT

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