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Iraq Parliament Meets After Bombing, Terror Group Claims Responsibility

Iraqi lawmakers have expressed condemnation and resolve during a special session following Thursday's bombing at the parliament building.

Many lawmakers returned to the shattered building inside Baghdad's Green Zone for a rare Friday gathering to offer prayers for the dead and to call for unity.

The apparent suicide bombing in the assembly's cafeteria killed Sunni Arab deputy Mohammad Awad of the National Dialogue Party and injured about 20 other people.

An insurgent group linked to al-Qaida called the Islamic State of Iraq has claimed responsibility for the bombing in a statement posted on an Islamist Web site.

The U.S. military initially said eight people were killed in the explosion, but the military now says it can only confirm one death.

An investigation into the attack is under way.

The second-ranking U.S. general in Iraq, Ray Odierno, acknowledged that Thursday was "a very bad day." He insists steady progress is being made on improving security.

General Odierno also acknowledged there remains a "long way to go" to stabilize the country. He was speaking in a video teleconference with reporters at the Pentagon Friday.

The U.S. military also announced today that two separate insurgent attacks killed three American soldiers and two Iraqi interpreters south of Baghdad Thursday. The attacks also wounded eight U.S. soldiers.

Friday's parliamentary session was broadcast live on Iraqi television. Many lawmakers were apparently unable to attend due to increased security measures.

At the session, Nassar al-Rubaie, head of the parliamentary bloc allied with anti-American Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, criticized the United States for not providing adequate security.

Some information for this report provided by AP.

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