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Last Updated: Sunday, 16 April 2006, 21:20 GMT 22:20 UK
Iraq towns rocked by new violence
An injured Iraqi girl is taken away from the scene of a bomb in Iraq
Dozens of people were killed and injured across Iraq on Sunday
A number of deadly attacks have taken place in Iraq, as the country's political leaders continued to grapple with the formation of a new government.

At least 34 people died in total, with the worst incident - a car bombing - claiming 10 lives south of Baghdad.

Seven labourers have been shot dead in Mosul, and the US army announced the death of four marines in combat.

A session of parliament due on Monday was shelved with no sign of a political breakthrough after months of deadlock.

Parliament had been due to meet for only the second time since elections in December.

But with attempts to form a unity government stalled by disputes over cabinet posts, parliament's acting speaker, Adnan Pachachi, said he was postponing the session for several days to give political leaders more time to resolve their differences.

Opposition Kurdish and Sunni parties are refusing to back the Shias' nominee for prime minister, the incumbent Ibrahim Jaafari.

They argue that he is a divisive figure, who has failed to end the violence in Iraq.

But Mr Jaafari has repeatedly refused to stand aside and the alliance of Shia parties is yet to agree another candidate.

Bloodshed

Violence continued across Iraq on Sunday.

Ibrahim Jaafari
Talks are deadlocked over Ibrahim Jaafari's nomination

At least 10 people were killed and 20 injured when a car bomb exploded in Mahmudiya, about 30km (20 miles) south of the capital, which has a mixed population of Sunni and Shia Muslims.

Further north, in Mosul, gunmen killed seven construction workers and wounded three others, police said.

"They had finished working on a damaged police station and were travelling home in their car when they were ambushed by gunmen and shot dead," an officer said.

In other incidents:

  • Twelve men are abducted from an investment company in Baghdad by gunmen wearing police uniforms and driving police cars, police say

  • The US announces the death of four US marines killed in fighting in Anbar province on Saturday

  • Five insurgents - three of whom were wearing explosive vests - and a woman are killed and five people are arrested in a raid on a house in Yusifiya, south of Baghdad, the US military says

  • At least three people are killed in a bombing on a minibus in Baghdad

  • At least four people are killed by gunmen who opened fire on a minibus near Baquba, north of Baghdad

Iraqi politicians, the US administration and political observers have said the establishment of an Iraqi government is essential if Iraq is to become less dangerous.

The BBC's James Reynolds in Baghdad says many Iraqis are questioning whether releasing a list of people for cabinet roles will really derail the insurgency.

But the hope, he says, is that once Iraqis realise they are being represented, the country will stabilise from the top down - though it may take many months.


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