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Iraqi President Says Terrorists Exploiting Political Stalemate in Baghdad

  • VOA News

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani says terrorists bent on starting civil war are taking advantage of a political stalemate caused by stalled negotiations to form a new government.

Mr. Talabani spoke Monday, a day after a string of bombs killed at least 46 people and wounded more than 200 others in a Shi'ite area of Baghdad. He urged political parties to speed up efforts to form a coalition government.

Hours earlier, radical Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr called for calm and said he will not order his militia to strike back at Sunni militants suspected in Sunday's bombings. He said retaliation would drag Iraq into civil war.

The attacks raised fears of Shi'ite reprisals just weeks after the bombing of a major Shi'ite shrine sparked days of deadly violence between Iraq's Shi'ites and Sunnis.

Meanwhile, the U.S. military says a soldier was killed Monday in eastern Baghdad. A separate statement said a Marine wounded Sunday in Al-Anbar province has also died.

Elsewhere in the capital, police say the bodies of four people were found shot to death in Sadr City.

North of Baghdad, police say one person was killed and six others wounded by a roadside bomb in Taji.
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