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Iraq Ministerial Meeting to Take Place in Egypt First Week in May


Iraq's foreign minister says a ministerial meeting between Iraq, its neighbors and world powers will be held in Egypt during the first week of May.

Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said Saturday that the ministerial meeting was very important, and he hoped it would lead to dialogue between regional and international powers on stabilizing the country.

The meeting is a follow-up to an ambassador-level conference held in Baghdad March 10 to discuss the security situation in Iraq.

That conference saw the United States hold rare talks with Iran and Syria.

Zebari did not specify a breakdown of the guest list for the May talks and said there was still work to do, such as agreeing on an agenda.

A U.S.-funded radio station says its correspondent in Iraq has been killed.

Radio Free Iraq said Friday Khamail Khalaf was found dead in Baghdad Thursday. She had been missing for two days amid fears she had been kidnapped.

More than 150 members of the news media have been killed in Iraq since the war began in 2003.

U.S. military officials in Iraq have reduced the death toll from a suicide bombing Friday from 27 to 12. Police said a suicide bomber driving a truck with chlorine gas detonated his vehicle in Ramadi, the capital of volatile al-Anbar province. A military statement says 43 people were wounded.

The military also says the Iraqi army called in air strikes Saturday against armed militia men in Diwaniyah, south of Baghdad, one day after U.S. and Iraqi forces detained 27 suspects and killed three insurgents in the city.

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