Iraq's political leaders plan to meet Sunday to discuss how to break a deadlock on a new draft constitution.
Concern over the wording of the constitution has been growing with the deadline for the draft just eight days away, and delegates from Iraq's Sunni, Shi'ite and Kurdish communities still deeply divided over a number of issues.
In another development, Iraqi police are reported to have opened fire today on hundreds of Iraqis protesting poor public service in the town of Samawa, hitting at least eight people and killing one of them.
Farther north in Baghdad, Iraqi authorities say three soldiers in civilian clothes were killed in a drive-by shooting. Two Oil Ministry workers are reported to have died in a similar attack in another part of the capital, and a suicide bomber killed at least two people in Tikrit.
The U.S. military said a roadside bomb in Samarra killed two American soldiers Saturday.
As U.S. casualties mount, American news media report the Pentagon has developed a detailed plan to significantly scale down the U.S. military presence in Iraq next year. Pentagon officials are quoted as saying troop strength could diminish by 30,000, if the political process in Iraq remains on schedule.
Some information for this report provided by AFP and Reuters.