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Iraqi Constitution Committee To Ask For Extension

Members of the commission drafting the Iraqi constitution (file photo) 1 August 2005 (RFE/RL) -- The committee working on Iraq's constitution is expected to ask parliament today for more time to finish the document.

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani and U.S. officials insist the 15 August deadline for parliament to approve the draft charter be met.

About 90 percent of the document is finished, but differences remain among the Sunni Arab, Shi'ite, and Kurdish factions on issues including federalism, the role of Islam, distribution of national wealth, and the name of the country.

Committee Chairman Human Hamudi said on 31 July that he would ask today for a 30-day extension.

Meanwhile, more violence was reported across Iraq yesterday.

A car bomb exploded south of Baghdad killing five civilians and wounding 10.

A convoy carrying several members of Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress group was ambushed south of Baghdad, killing one and wounding three.

U.S. Marines used tanks and aircraft to attack insurgents who fired on a patrol near Haditha, some 220 kilometers northwest of Baghdad.

The U.S. military said 11 insurgents were killed. No mention was made of any coalition casualties.


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For RFE/RL's full coverage of developments in Iraq, see "The New Iraq"

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