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Iraqi Kurds, Shi'ites Continue Government Talks


Iraq's President Jalal Talabani has met with the leader of a key Shi'ite political bloc, Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, to discuss plans for forming a coalition government.

The talks in northern Iraq Thursday were the latest in a series of negotiations this week between Kurdish and Shi'ite leaders. Officials from both sides say they also want to include Sunni Arab leaders in negotiations.

But Sunni leaders have rejected talks until their complaints about alleged fraud in this month's parliamentary elections are addressed.

Meanwhile, a suicide bomber blew himself up in Baghdad, killing four policemen. A roadside bomb killed an American soldier in the Iraqi capital.

Elsewhere, gunmen stormed a home and killed at least 11 members of a Shi'ite family.

Iraqi officials said they have suspended operations at the nation's largest oil refinery because of threats against workers.

And in a new video tape, al-Qaida in Iraq threatened to kill five kidnapped employees of Sudan's embassy, including a diplomat, unless Khartoum cut ties with Iraq's government.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.

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