Iraqi President Jalal Talabani has called on the Kurdish regional parliament to help unite the region in the face of sectarian violence across the country.
Mr. Talabani spoke to lawmakers gathered for the inaugural session of the 111-seat body today, Saturday in the northern city of Irbil.
Delegates were to elect a speaker and deputy speaker ahead of talks on helping to draft a new national constitution.
Meanwhile, Iraqi forces in Mosul seized at least six people, including a militant leader, Mullah Mahdi blamed for ordering dozens of attacks.
And U.S. troops in western Anbar province have discovered a vast network of underground bunkers used by insurgents. Officials say the bunkers were dug in a rock quarry and contained heavy weapons, a kitchen, living quarters and even a working air conditioner.