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Iraq's Cabinet Approves Draft Oil Law


Iraq's cabinet has endorsed a draft law crucial to regulating how the country's vast oil reserves will be shared by its ethnic and sectarian groups.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on Monday hailed the law as key to unifying the Iraqi people. The measure aims to deliver the country's oil revenues equitably to all of Iraq's 18 provinces.

The United States has been pressing for an oil law to help settle a potentially explosive dispute among Iraq's different communities. Iraq relies on oil exports for nearly all of its revenue, and most of the oil wealth is in the mainly Shi'ite south and the mainly Kurdish north.

The White House hailed the Iraqi cabinet's approval of the draft as "good news."

The draft now goes for a vote in parliament.

In violence Monday, Iraqi officials say a suicide car bomber targeting a police post killed at least 13 people in the western city of Ramadi.

Separately, Iraqi officials say Shi'ite vice president Adel Abdel-Mahdi escaped an apparent assassination attempt after a bomb exploded inside a government building in Baghdad.

The blast killed at least six people, but the vice president and Iraq's public works minister, Riyad Gharib suffered only minor bruises.

In other developments, the U.S. military says coalition forces found many sophisticated roadside bombs north of Baghdad Saturday. Military officials say they believe the devices came from Iran.

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