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20 Dead In Attacks Across Iraq

The wreckage after a minibus was bombed on April 16, killing at least three people (epa) April 16, 2006 -- Three separate attacks targeting civilians in Iraq have killed at least 20 people and wounded dozens, including shoppers at a busy market south of the capital.

Authorities said at least 11 people are dead as a result of a car-bomb explosion near a market in a town south of Baghdad on April 16, adding to the death toll the same day from two separate attacks on buses.

At least 25 others were reported injured by the market blast, which occurred in the town of Mahmudiya.

Officials said at least three people were killed and others wounded when a bomb went off in a minibus in eastern Baghdad earlier in the day.

An eyewitness, Abu Bayda, described the scene: "It was a bus. The people were about to get off the bus when the blast took place. Here there was a seriously wounded woman."

Gunmen also opened fire on a bus north of Baquba, killing at least five people on board.

U.S. Raid Kills Six, Nets Suspect

The U.S. military in Iraq said that five suspected insurgents and a woman caught in the crossfire were killed today when U.S. forces raided a house in Al-Yusifiyah, south of Baghdad.

Five other suspected militants were reportedly detained, and three other women and a child were also wounded in the predawn incident.

The man who was the target of the raid -- who U.S. sources said was detained -- was not identified. But the U.S. military said he worked with foreign militants to plan bombings.

Britain's Ministry of Defense meanwhile said a British soldier was killed in a bomb explosion in southern Iraq on April 15. Three other British soldiers were reported slightly injured in that blast.

Political Stalemate

The political deadlock that threatens to scuttle a session of parliament slated for April 16, as Sunni Arab and Kurdish leaders said a stubborn dispute over the post of prime minister and other senior government appointments is likely to continue.

No compromise has been reached since opposition emerged to the Shi'ite nomination of Ibrahim al-Ja'fari, who has served as prime minister since talks that followed the January 2005 elections. It has been four months since national elections were held to give the country a popularly elected government.

Acting parliamentary speaker and Independent Democrats Grouping leader Adnan Pachachi suggested politicians would gather later today to decide whether the parliamentary session would be delayed.

"[On April 14], the political blocs started to discuss candidates for the posts and formed a committee to discuss the details of the distribution of the posts," Pachachi said, according to Reuters. "The committee met yesterday [April 15] and it will meet again today, and at the end of the day leaders of the blocs will meet to consider the recommendations of the committee and took a decision regarding the meeting [of the parliament]."

(compiled from agency reports)

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