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Iraqi President Praises Controversial Shi'ite Organization


Iraqi President Jalal Talabani has praised a Shi'ite Muslim group that some Sunni Muslims have blamed for sectarian killings, as another string of attacks claimed 25 lives across Iraq.

Mr. Talabani praised the Badr Brigade militia on Wednesday for what he said was its work in Iraq's interest.

The Associated Press reports that a top Sunni leader, Abdul-Salam al-Qubeisi, spokesman of the Association of Muslim Scholars, swiftly criticized President Talabani's support for the group, accusing him of raising tensions among Iraqis.

Some Sunni leaders have accused the Badr group of recent killings of Sunni clerics, charges it denies.

Separately, Sunni leaders said they want more seats on the parliamentary committee charged with drafting Iraq's constitution, or they will boycott the process.

Shi'ite leaders have not responded to the demands.

Meanwhile, insurgent attacks across Iraq Tuesday killed at least 25 people, including three U.S. soldiers.

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