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Annan Warns Iraq Violence Appears On Rise Again

Kofi Annan 11 March 2005 -- United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan says that after a brief lull, violence in Iraq appears to be increasing again to levels seen before the country's 30 January elections.

Annan says in a new report that Iraq's new government, once it is formed, must take quick action to address the violence.

Annan's report was issued after a suicide bombing yesterday during a Shi'ite Muslim funeral in the city of Mosul killed at least 47 people.

Progress has meanwhile been reported in negotiations on a new Iraqi government between the Shi'ite political alliance that won the elections and the Kurdish coalition that finished second.

Officials said that under the proposed deal, the Kurds will support the Shi'ite clergy-backed alliance's candidate for prime minister, Ibrahim al-Ja'fari. In exchange, the alliance would back Kurdish leader Jalal Talabani for president.

The deal would clear the way for the naming of a cabinet after the new national assembly convenes on 16 March.


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

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