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Iraqi Cabinet to Vote on US Security Deal


Iraqi officials say Iraq's Cabinet is expected to vote on a security agreement governing the U.S. troop presence in the country.

Iraq's transport minister told reporters government officials are likely to take up the deal during a meeting Sunday. The pact would allow U.S. forces to remain in Iraq after the United Nations mandate expires at the end of this year.

Iraqi officials have been calling for changes to the draft security agreement, including an amendment that would give Baghdad more authority over U.S. troops. Officials also want a guarantee that Iraqi territory will not be used to attack other countries, and that American military presence in the country ends after 2011.

If adopted by the Iraqi Cabinet, the agreement goes to Iraq's parliament for approval.

In violence, U.S.and Iraqi officials say a car bombing killed at least 10 people in the northern Iraqi town of Tal Afar on Saturday.

Tal Afar is in volatile Nineveh province, and its capital Mosul, some 400 kilometers north of Baghdad, is said to be one of the last strongholds of al-Qaida fighters in Iraq.

Iraqi police say another bombing on Saturday killed at least five people near the National Theater in the al-Karada neighborhood of Baghdad.

Later in the day, U.S. military officials said two U.S. soldiers died in a helicopter crash in Mosul. Officials say the aircraft made a hard landing after hitting some wires.

Some information for this report provided by DPA and Reuters.

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