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Iraq Issues Law Allowing Former Baathists to Return to Government


The Iraqi government's top executive body, called the president's council, has issued a controversial law that allows some former members of Saddam Hussein's Baath Party to return to government service.

The Kurdish, Jalal Talabani, and Shi'ite, Adel Abdul-Mahdi, representatives of the three-member presidency council issued the law Sunday despite the objection of the Sunni representative, Tareq al-Hashemi.

Sunni politicians say the law contains provisions that will force out many current government workers.

The law is one of 18 pieces of so-called benchmark legislation aimed at achieving reconciliation among Iraq's Kurdish, Sunni Arab and Shi'ite communities.

Meanwhile, the U.S. military says the bodies of four Iraqi militia members working with U.S. forces were recovered in Baquba Sunday. The military also said coalition forces killed three suspected terrorists and captured 36 others in the last two days in operations in central and northern Iraq.

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

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