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Iraqi Police Recover More Than 80 Bodies as Reprisal Attacks Mount


Iraqi police say they have recovered more than 80 bodies in and around Baghdad since Monday, including 29 corpses found in a mass grave in a Shi'ite suburb in eastern Baghdad.

Separately, 15 bodies were found crammed into an abandoned truck Tuesday elsewhere in the city. Police say the victims appeared to have been strangled. Authorities say the bodies of 40 others have also been recovered.

The bloodshed -- the second wave of mass killings in the past three weeks -- followed a string of bombings Sunday that killed about 50 people and wounded more than 200 others in a Shi'ite section of Baghdad.

Meanwhile, political leaders have opened meetings aimed at reaching agreement on who will head Iraq's new Cabinet. Sunni Arabs and Kurds are opposing a new term for interim Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, who is a Shi'ite. Parliament holds its inaugural session Thursday.

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani says terrorists trying to trigger all-out civil war in Iraq are taking advantage of the political stalemate. President Bush has urged Iraq's leaders to put aside their differences in favor of a unity government.

Information for this report is provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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