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Sister of Sunni Vice President, 4 European Soldiers Killed in Iraq


In Iraq, gunmen have killed a sister of the country's new Sunni Arab vice president, while a bombing elsewhere claimed the lives of four European soldiers.

Police say Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi's sister Meysoun was gunned down in southwestern Baghdad Thursday. Their brother Mahmud was killed in an ambush in the capital earlier this month.

Separately, three Italian soldiers and one from Romania were killed in a roadside bombing in the southern city of Nasiriyah.

Tareq al-Hashemi was chosen by parliament as one of Iraq's two vice presidents on Saturday. He heads the Iraqi Islamic Party, the largest party in the main Sunni political bloc.

The violence comes as Iraq's Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish politicians work to form a new government. Iraq's prime minister-designate announced Wednesday he would now go by his birth name Nouri al-Maliki and drop the name Jawad, which he took while in exile during the rule of Saddam Hussein.

In Najaf Thursday, Mr. Maliki discussed security issues with a top Shi'ite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani. Mr. Maliki said he is determined to form a government that will be able to disarm militias in Iraq.

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

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