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Violence Continues in Iraq as Government Works to Agree on Cabinet


At least 15 people have been killed in the latest Iraqi violence, including at least four who died in a car bomb in Baghdad.

Authorities say the car bombing occurred Saturday near a busy bus station in the capital's southern Dora neighborhood.

In Baquba, north of Baghdad, gunmen killed five workers at metal and automobile workshops.

The violence continues as Iraq's political leaders struggle to reach agreement on candidates for two key security posts that remain vacant a week after Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's government took office.

Mr. Maliki had promised the appointments would be made by Saturday. But parliament officials say no agreement has been reached.

Meanwhile, the U.S. military in Iraq said a U.S. Marine was killed Friday during an operation in al-Anbar province.

Elsewhere, Iran's foreign minister, Manouchehr Mottaki, who is on a visit to Iraq, met today with two Shi'ite clerics, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani and the radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.

The Bush administration has said Iran can have a positive impact on security in Iraq because of its influence with the country's majority Shi'ites.

In other news, Italy announced Friday it will reduce the number of its troops in Iraq. It said it will reduce that number from 2,700 to 1,600 sometime in June.

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

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