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Violence Continues in Iraq, Politicians Work to Form a Government

  • VOA News

Sectarian and insurgent attacks have killed at least four Iraqis on Saturday, and the bodies of at least five people, either tortured or shot, have been found.

In southern Iraq, the governor of Basra ,Muhamad al-Waeli said today he has asked the area's provincial council to fire the police chief and the defense ministry to dismiss an Iraqi army general.

The governor said the two had failed to rein in Basra's escalating violence.

In Kirkuk, in northern Iraq, witnesses say gunmen killed a Kurdish political leader ,Kamal Jalal.

As the violence continues, Iraq's prime minister-designate Nouri al-Maliki is working to meet a May 22nd deadline on forming a cabinet.

On Friday, a small Shi'ite party (Fadhila) bolted from Mr. Maliki's United Iraqi Alliance and said it would become an opposition bloc in parliament. Iraqi leaders are urging the party to return to the Shi'ite coalition.

Mr. Maliki had been expected to announce his new cabinet Thursday, but disagreements among political leaders on who should head the oil, interior and defense ministries have slowed formation of the new cabinet.

In other news, the U.S. military says a roadside bomb killed an American soldier today south of Baghdad.

Iraqi officials say a national reconciliation conference will convene in Baghdad next month. The aim of the conference is to end sectarian violence.
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