Iraq: prime minister promises to implement security plan

His comments Tuesday came a day after the abductions of 50 people in downtown Baghdad by gunmen and the shooting deaths of 21 Shiites north of the capital.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki blamed a desire by insurgents to cripple the political process for the spike in violence since he took office just over two weeks ago.

Three rockets which landed while it was still dark killed one man and wounded his two brothers. It was unclear what the target was,but the three men were sleeping on their roof in Baladiyat, eastern Baghdad, in an effort to find some cool. Baghdad temperatures have hovered around 47 degrees Celsius (116.60 Fahrenheit) or higher in recent days, the AP reports.

In an apparent effort to appease anger in the Sunni Arab minority over allegations of random detentions and mistreatment of prisoners, al-Maliki said 2,500 Iraqi detainees would be freed from U.S. and Iraqi-run jails to promote "reconciliation and national dialogue."

The first batch of about 500 detainees will be released Wednesday and others will follow after their cases are reviewed, he said.

But the Shiite prime minister stressed that the release plan excludes loyalists of ousted leader Saddam Hussein and his Sunni-dominated Baath Party as well as "terrorists whose hands are stained with the blood of the Iraqi people."

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