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Iraqi Cabinet Sworn In; Defense, Oil Ministry Posts Unfilled


After months of political haggling, Iraq's new government has been sworn in, but several ministries - including the key defense and oil portfolios - remain unfilled with only caretaker appointments.

Shi'ite politician Ibrahim al-Jaafari

Iraqi Prime Minister-designate Ibrahim al-Jaafari gestures during a news briefing
was first to be sworn in as the country's interim prime minister. He will also serve as acting defense minister.

Then, one-by-one, 29 cabinet members representing Iraq's main religious and ethnic groups were sworn in and pledged to defend Iraq and its people. Among them was former Pentagon favorite Ahmed Chalabi, who will be acting oil minister as well as one of four deputy prime ministers.

Meanwhile, gunmen shot dead three policemen in Samarra. Near Ramadi, at least 15 people, a dozen of them insurgents, were killed in a battle with Iraqi and coalition forces.

The U.S. military also reports that it has recovered the body of a pilot from one of two missing Marine jets that apparently crashed on Monday. Efforts to find a second missing pilot continue.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP, Reuters.

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