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Top Diplomats Gather for Iraq Conference


Top diplomats from around the world -- including officials from Iraq's neighbors and the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council -- are arriving in Egypt for a conference on stabilizing Iraq.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on Wednesday that she would be ready to discuss issues besides Iraq with Iran's foreign minister, Manouchehr Mottaki if they encounter each other at this week's conference. Rice is also expected to talk with Syrian officials.

On Thursday, the Iraqi government and the United Nations will launch the International Compact with Iraq (or ICI) that deals with mostly economic issues. Then on Friday, officials from around the world will discuss Iraq's security and political reconciliation efforts.

Meanwhile, Iraqi officials said a suicide car bomber today killed at least nine people and wounded 34 others outside a police station in Baghdad.

Police said that at least 54 others were killed or found dead nationwide.

Earlier today, the U.S. military said 37-hundred more American troops had arrived in Baghdad as part of a security crackdown launched in February. This is the fourth additional combat unit deployed as part of plans to add 28-thousand troops to assist Iraqi security forces.

Separately, the U.S. military said coalition forces detained 12 terrorist suspects during overnight raids in Baghdad and al-Anbar province.

On Tuesday, U.S. and Iraqi officials said they were trying to confirm reports that al-Qaida in Iraq leader Abu Ayyub al-Masri was killed in a clash among members of his insurgent group.

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