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Iraqi Leaders Continue Conference Amid Fresh Violence

16 August 2004 -- Some 1,000 Iraqi political and religious leaders are continuing talks in Baghdad today aimed at selecting a temporary national assembly that will oversee the interim government until elections planned for January.

As the conference entered its second day, the U.S. military said three of its soldiers were killed yesterday in Al-Najaf Province, where U.S. forces have been fighting militiamen loyal to radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.

In Ba'quba, local police say three members of the Iraqi National Guard were injured today when their patrol vehicle hit an explosive device as they entered the city.

In the southern city of Al-Nasiriyah, Deputy Governor Adnan al-Sharifi said a Western journalist was kidnapped on 14 August. The identity of the journalist has not been verified.


For the latest news on Iraq, see RFE/RL's webpage on "The New Iraq".