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Iraq's Government in Talks with Sunni, Shi'ite Leaders - 2004-10-06


Iraq's interim government is engaged in cease-fire talks with Sunni and Shi'ite leaders in an effort to restore calm to violent parts of Iraq before January's scheduled election.

In Baghdad, Prime Minister Iyad Allawi said Wednesday no deal has been reached yet with representatives of radical Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr to end fighting in the capital's Sadr City district. Mr. Allawi said the cleric's militia must disarm and allow police to return to the streets, in exchange for amnesty.

In Fallujah, where U.S. warplanes have been bombing suspected terrorist hideouts nearly daily, tribal leaders say they have negotiated an agreement in principle with the government to end the strikes.

Meanwhile, U.S. and Iraqi forces continued their offensive in Babil, south of Baghdad. And at least 12 people were killed in an apparent suicide car bombing in western Iraq.