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Last Updated: Sunday, 23 April 2006, 11:16 GMT 12:16 UK
Mortar attacks kill 6 in Baghdad
A ripped apart sandal lies in a pool of blood and debris after a mortar round exploded
Insurgents appeared to be targeting government buildings
Mortar rounds have exploded in Baghdad killing at least six civilians and wounding two, say Iraqi police.

Three mortars exploded near Iraq's Defence Ministry while others landed near the interior ministry and Shaab stadium.

The attacks came one day after Iraq's parliament endorsed Shia politician Jawad al-Maliki as prime minister.

Mr Maliki now has 30 days to form a government, which it is hoped will help end a spiral of violence.

The BBC's Jim Muir in Baghdad says Mr Maliki will seek to form a national unity government including Shias, Sunnis, Kurds and secular politicians.

JAWAD AL-MALIKI
Jawad al-Maliki speaking after his nomination
Deputy leader of the Daawa, Iraq's oldest Shia party
Served on de-Baathification committee
Served on committee drafting Iraq's constitution
Deputy speaker of the interim National Assembly
Fled Iraq for Syria in 1980s and returned after invasion

Security forces in Baghdad were still examining the scenes of the mortar attacks on Sunday morning.

Police Lt. Maitham Abdul-Razzaq told the Associated Press it was hard to identify the six fatalities because the powerful explosions and shrapnel from the mortars had severed their limbs and destroyed their identification cards.

But he said one of the wounded Iraqis worked at the Defence Ministry.

In a separate incident in the city, police found the bodies of six young men who had been bound and shot.

Iraqi police said the bodies of six men with bullet holes in their heads had been found in Baghdad's Sunni district of Azamiya.

In his first policy speech after his appointment Mr Maliki sent a clear message to the insurgents that the violence must stop.

"Arms should be in the hands of the government. There is a law that calls for the merging of militias with the armed forces," Mr Maliki was quoted as saying.





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