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Iraqi Parliament to Convene

Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari says parliament will convene on July 13, which will mark only the second time lawmakers have met since the inconclusive national elections in March.

Zebari announced the meeting at a Thursday news conference in Irbil, the capital of the autonomous region of Kurdistan.

The announcement comes a day after bombings targeting Shi'ite pilgrims killed at least 50 people in Baghdad. Iraqi officials say at least 12 people were killed in similar attacks in the capital, Thursday.

Insurgents have intensified attacks across Iraq in recent weeks in an apparent attempt to exploit a political stalemate that resulted from the country's inconclusive elections in March.

No political group emerged from the election with enough parliamentary seats to form a majority. An alliance led by former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi won the most seats - two more than a coalition led by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

However, Mr. Maliki has insisted he should run the government. His coalition has teamed up with the third-place Iraqi National Alliance.

Parliament convened briefly on June 14. Acting Speaker Fouad Massoum then adjourned the session, saying a speaker and a president for parliament would be chosen at a later date.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.