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Iraqi Committee Struggling To Draft Constitution

3 August 2005 -- Iraqis tasked with drafting a new constitution have failed to make progress in resolving issues holding up the completion of the charter.

Unresolved issues like the role of Islam and whether Kurdish as well as Arabic should be an official language were discussed on 2 August in Baghdad.

The constitution committee has vowed that the draft charter will be ready by 15 August, in time for a scheduled mid-October referendum.

Elsewhere, a powerful blast shook central Baghdad yesterday when a car bomb went off near a U.S. military convoy, killing four people and wounding 23 others.

The U.S. military announced on 2 August that seven Marines died in action in two separate attacks west of the capital on 1 August.

According to Pentagon figures, 1,800 U.S. military personnel have now been killed in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003.


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