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Iraq Says it is Trying to Ease Power Crisis

Iraq's acting electricity minister says he is taking steps to improve power supplies in the country, where many people receive electricity only a few hours a day.

Hussain al-Shahristani says the measures include cutting special power supplies to Iraqi officials and reducing electricity allocations to Baghdad's fortified Green Zone.

In a Friday news conference, he urged Iraqis to be patient, saying there is "no magic wand or miracle" that will immediately resolve the problem.

Shahristani took over as acting minister earlier this week after former minister Karim Waheed resigned because of protests and public anger over power shortages.

Iraq's electricity crisis has been an issue since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has said it will likely be another two years before the power shortages can be fixed in the country, where temperatures can soar to 50 degrees Celsius.

In another development, Iraqi officials say they have found 11 decomposed bodies in a remote area north of Baghdad. Authorities say the region had been a stronghold for al-Qaida militants.

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