The US President, George W Bush, has said the United States will not retreat from Iraq or from the war against terror.

In a strong defence of US policy in Iraq, Mr Bush said retreat in the face of terror would only invite further and bolder attacks.

Mr Bush made his address as the number of Americans killed since the end of major combat operations reached 139, surpassing the number killed during the war itself.

Speaking to US military veterans, the president compared Iraq to post-war Germany and Japan, saying their reconstruction had taken years, not months, but that the effort had been worth it.