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Deal Struck On Iraqi Constitution Panel

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani (file photo) 17 June 2005 (RFE/RL) -- A deal has been reached in Iraq for minority Sunni Arabs to participate in a panel that will draft a new constitution for the country.

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani gave some details of the agreement in an announcement on 16 June.

"The number that has been agreed upon, as I heard, is 15 [Sunni] representatives and 10 consultants," Talabani said. "But we have to underline one thing and that is the number is not very important because the decisions are taken by consensus."

Also on 16 June, the U.S. military announced that it had captured Mohammed Khalif Shaiker. The military says Shaiker is a top military aide to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian considered the leader of the insurgency.

In the latest violence, at least 11 Iraqis were killed on 16 June, including a senior Iraqi judge and his driver, six Iraqi policemen.