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Iraqi Parliament Approves Cabinet Posts


Iraq's parliament has approved six new government ministers, including four from the country's Sunni minority which held power under Saddam Hussein.

However, the Sunni Human Rights appointee Hashem Ashibli quickly turned down the post, leaving a single vacancy in the 33-member cabinet. He said he could not accept a position awarded on a sectarian basis.

A Sunni Arab, Saadoun al-Dulaimi, has been approved as defense minister, and a Shi'ite (Ibrahim Bahr al-Uloum) will head the all-important oil ministry. Top slots in the ministries of industry and electricity were also filled, along with a third deputy prime minister position.

Meanwhile, Iraqi police say gunmen assassinated a senior member of the Transportation Ministry Zoba Yass and his driver today in Baghdad.

Separately, U.S. officials say coalition forces killed six insurgents and captured 54 suspects early Sunday near the western border town of al-Qaim.

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

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