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Iraqi President Optimistic About Striking Deal With Insurgent Groups


Iraqi President Jalal Talabani says he is optimistic about striking a deal with seven insurgent groups that could end the violence in his country.

In a statement Sunday, Mr. Talabani said he has met with representatives of the groups, noting the talks have included U.S officials. He said officials are seeking to hold a dialogue with the groups and to include them in the political process.

Mr. Talabani did not name the groups but said they do not include al-Qaida in Iraq or loyalists of Saddam Hussein.

In violence Sunday, British officials say a roadside bombing against a private security convoy killed three people and wounded two south of Baghdad. The officials said they could not confirm reports that the dead included British nationals.

And insurgents carried out other bomb and shooting attacks today, including a bombing in Baghdad's Sadr City neighborhood that killed three Iraqis. A rocket-propelled grenade aimed at coalition troops killed two Iraqi children in Ramadi.

Meanwhile, the speaker of Iraq's parliament asked the assembly to convene on May 3, as Prime Minister-designate Nouri al-Maliki works to form his government. The incoming prime minister has until May 21 to submit his cabinet to parliament for approval.

In other news, the U.S. military in Iraq says coalition forces captured seven wanted insurgents and detained more than 50 other suspects during raids Saturday in the Yusifiyah area, south of Baghdad.

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

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