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26 July 2005 -- Gunmen opened fire today on a bus carrying employees home from a factory in Abu Ghurayb, west of Baghdad, killing at least 16 people, international media report.

The reports said the buses were taking home employees from the Al-Faris waterworks, some 30 kilometers west of Baghdad.

In another development, Al Qaeda in Iraq said in a statement today that it will execute two Algerian envoys kidnapped in Baghdad last week. The authenticity of the statement could not be verified.

Meanwhile, several Iraqi Sunni leaders have said they plan to return today to negotiations on writing a new constitution for the country. They walked out last week after three Sunni men working with the committee were shot dead by insurgents.

A draft of a new constitution is due by 15 August, but 1 August is the deadline for announcing a six-month extension if the committee decides it needs more time.

The head of the committee drafting Iraq's new constitution, Sheikh Humam Hammudi, vowed after the Sunni boycott began that the document would be finished ahead of schedule despite the assassinations.

(Reuters/AFP)
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