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US Urges Iraqis to Show Restraint After Deadly Car Bombing in Najaf


The United States has urged all Iraqis to show restraint after a car bomb killed at least 10 people near a Shi'ite Muslim shrine in the southern Iraqi city of Najaf.

A State Department spokesman, Sean McCormack, says those who seek to attack Iraq's religious sites are enemies of all faiths and all humanity. The bomb exploded Thursday near the tomb of Imam Ali, one of the holiest places in the world for Shi'ites.

Also Thursday, embattled Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari reiterated his refusal to step down as the Shi'ite nominee for a second term -- unless asked to do so by parliament.

His candidacy is one of the main sticking points blocking efforts to form a national unity government in Iraq nearly four months after parliamentary elections.

Iraq's Kurdish and Sunni Arab leaders say he has not done enough to ease sectarian violence in Iraq.

Meanwhile, the U.S. military announced the capture of an al-Qaida-linked terrorist, Abu Ayman, believed responsible for last year's kidnapping of Italian journalist Guiliana Sgrena, who was later released.

And Saddam Hussein's trial has been adjourned until April 12th, after a brief session in which prosecutors questioned one of his seven co-defendants. The former Iraqi leader and his associates are being tried for the killing of more than 140 Shi'ites in the village of Dujail in 1982. They could face death if found guilty.

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