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04/09/2006 World News: Iraqi Shi'ite Leaders Hold Talks on New Government


Iraq: Iraq's Shi'ite leaders met today (Sunday) in another attempt to break a nearly four-month impasse over a choice for prime minister in a new government.
The United Iraqi Alliance, a coalition of Shi'ite factions that make up the largest parliamentary bloc in Iraq, faces mounting pressure to withdraw Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari as its candidate to lead the new government.
Al-Jaafari's nomination has been the chief obstacle to efforts to form a unity government nearly four months after landmark parliamentary elections. Sunni Arabs and Kurds oppose al-Jaafari for failing to stop the rise in sectarian violence in Iraq.

Israel-Palestinians: Palestinian officials say Israeli artillery shells have pounded the northern Gaza Strip, killing a Palestinian police officer and wounding at least five other people.
Palestinians say the shells landed on a small security base near the northern Gaza town of Beit Hanoun.
The Israeli army says today's (Sunday's) shelling came in response to Palestinian rocket fire into Israel in recent days.
The police officer was the 15th Palestinian killed in Gaza since Friday when Israel stepped up its retaliation for the rocket attacks from Gaza.

Nepal Unrest: Protesters in Nepal demonstrating against King Gyanendra's absolute rule have defied a daytime curfew in several parts of the country. Two people are reported dead since the protests began in recent days.
Around two thousand protesters assembled in the town of Bharatpur today (Sunday). Witnesses say one person died during clashes there Saturday between security officials and some 25 thousand protesters.
The death was the second since the four-day general strike began Thursday in Nepal. Security officials opened fire and killed a pro-democracy activist Saturday in the resort town of Pokhara (about 200 kilometers west of Kathmandu). Officials say riot police opened fire in self defense.

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