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8 Killed in Baghdad Sectarian Violence


Eight people have been killed in bombing near near a Sunni mosque in Baghdad and a separate mortar attack on a Shi'ite neighborhood, in the latest sectarian violence since a major bomb attack on a Shi'ite shrine.

Monday's violence came after authorities lifted an around-the-clock curfew in Baghdad.

The ongoing sectarian violence has further delayed talks on forming a new government. But Iraq's largest Sunni political bloc in parliament, The National Concord Front now says it is ready to start talks if Sunni mosques allegedly seized by Shi'ites are returned to them.

U.S. officials are still awaiting word about the fate of kidnapped American journalist Jill Carroll. U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad says Iraq's Interior Ministry is optimistic about her release.

The U.S. military also released 390 more detainees held in Iraq after reviewing their cases. And Iraq's Interior Ministry says its forces captured a senior aide to al-Qaida in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi along with five other suspected terrorists in Ramadi.

The trial of Saddam Hussein is set to resume on Tuesday. One of Saddam's lawyers, Khalil al-Dulaimi says the ousted president has ended an 11-day hunger strike.

His trial's last session on February 14 ended in a shouting match between Saddam and the chief judge.

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