5 Iraqis killed, 14 bodies found as Iraq's parliament meets

A suicide bomber attacked a police recruiting station Wednesday in Fallujah, killing five people in an attack apparently aimed at discouraging Sunni Arabs from joining the force, police said.

Police also found the bodies of 14 Iraqi men in Baghdad who apparently were the latest victims of a wave of sectarian violence involving death squads that kidnap civilians, torture them in captivity and dump their bodies on city streets.

The attack in Fallujah, a former insurgent stronghold 65 kilometers (40 miles) west of Baghdad, was part of an insurgent campaign against U.S. efforts to bring more Sunnis into the police and army.

The bomber struck at the entrance of the police building, police aid. Three of the dead were applying for jobs and two were policemen, police added.

Bodies of four Iraqi soldiers were found Tuesday in the insurgent stronghold of Ramadi two days after they graduated from basic training as part of the first all-Sunni class, according to police.

The Fallujah attack occurred as Iraq's parliament met in Baghdad for only the third time since the legislators were elected last year.

Prime Minister-designate Nouri al-Maliki, a Shiite, is in the process of choosing a Cabinet for the new unity government from Iraq's complex mix of political parties controlled by majority Shiites and minority Sunni Arabs and Kurds.

Al-Maliki was officially appointed on April 22 and has pledged to complete his Cabinet this month. That will be the final stage in establishing the new government.

U.S. officials believe a unity government can over time calm sectarian tensions and lure many Sunnis away from the insurgency.

But on Tuesday, Shiite officials reported a new snag in the negotiations when Sunni politicians insisted on key posts, including deputy prime minister and a major ministry such as finance or education. Shiites, who hold 130 of the 275 seats in parliament, offered a lesser ministry but the Sunnis refused, according to Shiite politician Bassem Sharif.

Talks were to continue Wednesday, he said.

Sunni politicians are also eager for parliament to consider amendments to the new constitution. Sunnis oppose several provisions, including one allowing formation of regional governments. Many Sunnis fear that would lead to Iraq's breakup and deprive them of a fair share of the country's vast oil wealth.

Shiites and Kurds agreed to study changes in the constitution during the first four months of the new parliament. However, Shiite officials said Tuesday they want to delay formation of the committee to study changes until the new Cabinet has been chosen.

The issue was to be discussed during Wednesday's parliament session. Officials have said curbing violence is a top priority of the new assembly.

On Tuesday, Anbar Gov. Maamoun Sami Rashid al-Alwani was treated for minor injuries after a bomb attack on his convoy near Ramadi, 115 kilometers (70 miles) west of Baghdad, a doctor said, reports the AP.


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