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Conflicting Reports on Status of Iraq Constitution Talks

  • VOA News

The chairman of the committee drafting Iraq's constitution says a compromise has been reached and that a new draft document will be sent to the parliament on Sunday. Shi'ite Sheik Humam Hammoudi made the announcement early Saturday (local time), shortly after the latest negotiation deadline expired.

But Sunni Arab negotiators said no agreement has been reached, and one prominent Sunni Arab (Saleh al-Mutlaq) told Arab television that he urged all Iraqis to reject the document when it is put to a national referendum October 15th. Talks had been extended for an extra day so that Sunni Arab concerns regarding federalism and the exclusion of former Ba'athists from the government could be further discussed. In other developments, the U.S. military launched multiple airstrikes Friday against a building near the Syrian border sheltering about 50 suspected terrorists linked to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. No casualty figures were released.

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