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Sunnis Discuss Shape Of Iraqi Government

21 February 2005 -- Sunni Muslim tribal leaders have met to work out a strategy for participating in a future Iraqi government.

About 70 tribal leaders from the provinces of Baghdad, Kirkuk, Salaheddin, Diyala, Anbar, and Nineveh gathered at a Baghdad hotel yesterday.

One of those present -- Sheik Hathal Younis Yahiya --said Sunnis "made a big mistake" by largely boycotting the 30 January elections in Iraq.

Just west of the capital, meanwhile, U.S. Marines and Iraqi security forces have launched a joint operation to crack down on insurgents. The U.S. military said the operation is under way in several Euphrates River cities in Anbar province, including Heet, Hadithah, and the provincial capital Ramadi, where a nighttime curfew has been imposed.

The operation comes after two days of violence left nearly 100 people dead. The bloodshed coincided with Ashura, the holiest day of the Shi'ite religious calendar.


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