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Iraqi Parliament Convenes For First Working Session


Iraq's parliament is meeting in Baghdad Wednesday, for its first working session since it was elected in December last year.

During the session, Iraqi lawmakers are expected to discuss forming a committee to suggest changes to Iraq's constitution.

Sunni Muslim politicians want to revise several provisions in the constitution, including one that allows the formation of regional governments. Many Sunnis fear such an arrangement would give Shia Muslims and Kurds too much control over Iraq's oil wealth.

Meanwhile, Iraqi officials say a suicide bomber blew himself up in a crowd at a police recruitment center in Fallujah Wednesday, killing at least 15 people and wounding 20. Fallujah is a mainly Sunni town in Iraq's al-Anbar Province, where Sunni-led insurgent groups are active.

A similar suicide attack in Ramadi a day earlier, by an attacker driving a car packed with explosives, was aimed at the governor of al-Anbar province, Maamoun Sami Rashid al-Alwani. The official escaped serious injury, but U.S. Marines who rushed to the site of the blast say 10 civilians were killed.

In Baghdad today, police say they found 14 bodies dumped in an eastern district of the capital - all young men who had been bound and shot dead. Sectarian killings in the city have increased sharply during the past two months, since an explosion that destroyed a revered Shi'ite Muslim shrine.

Meanwhile, German officials say two German engineers held hostage in Iraq since late January have been freed, and are returning home today.

In other developments, the U.S. military says coalition forces killed 10 insurgents - including three wearing "suicide vests" filled with explosives - during a raid on a safe house north of Baghdad.

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