Iraq's PM to present new Cabinet to Parliament on saturday

Al-Maliki "will present his government to the presidency today, and the presidency will refer it tomorrow to the parliamentary council," Deputy Speaker Khalid al-Attiyah, a Shiite, told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

In another development, Iraqi forces searched on Wednesday for a United Arab Emirates diplomat kidnapped in Baghdad, and a top official in the Persian Gulf country said the attack raised concerns about Iraq's widespread insecurity, the AP reports.

In two separate appeals on television, the hostage's mother and a top Iraqi politician urged the captors to release the diplomat.

Meanwhile, three roadside bombs and two drive-by shootings in Baghdad and another city on Wednesday killed two Iraqis and wounded nine, police said. The bodies of two Iraqi men, handcuffed and shot in the head, were found in the capital.

Elsewhere, the Shiite holy city of Najaf imposed a midnight to 4 a.m. curfew because of heightened fears of insurgent attacks in that area by al-Qaida in Iraq, and three U.S. detention centers released 23 Iraqi detainees, police said.

On Tuesday, violence across the country left at least 36 people dead.

Al-Maliki faces a deadline of Monday to nominate his Cabinet, the final stage in the formation of a government that began when Parliament was elected nearly five months ago.

Asked about al-Maliki's Cabinet nominations, al-Dulaimi said Wednesday that he did not know what decision had been made regarding the two important portfolios - the Defense Ministry, which controls Iraq's military, and the Interior Ministry, which oversee police forces.

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