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U.S. sending reinforcements to violent Ramadi

Iraqi PM-designate to name Cabinet on Saturday

An Iraqi man walks in front of a destroyed house Wednesday in Ramadi, site of daily clashes.



• Interactive: Who's who in Iraq
• Interactive: Sectarian divide



(CNN) -- U.S. military commanders will order more U.S. troops to the Iraqi city of Ramadi, the volatile Anbar provincial capital where troops and insurgents have been fighting pitched battles, the military said Friday.

The reinforcements, described as a significant number, will come from other areas inside Iraq, but military sources are not saying when the troops will arrive.

Fighting has been raging in the sprawling, largely Sunni Arab province west of Baghdad for days; coalition forces have engaged insurgents in the area every day since May 7, the military said.

Insurgents have hidden and established bases in Anbar towns along the Euphrates River, and some have entered Anbar over the Syrian border. Over the past year, Marine-led forces have been launching offensives against insurgents along the Euphrates.

The largest U.S.-led offensive of the war in Iraq took place in 2004 against insurgents based in the Anbar city of Falluja, which is east of Ramadi. (Map: Ramadi )

The military reported earlier this month that U.S. and Iraqi troops had killed more than 100 insurgents in Ramadi the last week of April. (Full story)

The latest incidents in Ramadi took place Thursday, the military said.

"Marines from 2/28 Brigade Combat Team were attacked multiple times with improvised explosive devices, medium and heavy machine gun fire, and small arms fire from several locations near the Ramadi Government Center," the U.S. military said in a written statement.

"Coalition forces responded with small arms fire, medium and heavy machine gun fire, grenades, mortars, shoulder-fired rockets, and precision munitions."

Cabinet to be named

Iraqi Prime Minister-designate Nuri al-Maliki will announce his Cabinet to Parliament on Saturday, said a spokesman for a leading Shiite party.

The announcement comes despite no agreement among the sectarian and political coalitions about who should hold the posts of defense and interior ministers.

Al-Maliki will make temporary appointments to those two posts until he can broker a deal on permanent ministers, said Haitham al-Husseini of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, one of the larger Shiite parties.

An aide to al-Maliki told Reuters that parties have given themselves a week to name permanent ministers, which is seen as an integral step to ending the sectarian violence.

Al-Maliki, a Shiite, will take the helm of the Interior Ministry in the meantime, and Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi, a Sunni, will head the Defense Ministry, the aide told Reuters.

Parliament is scheduled to vote on al-Maliki's Cabinet on Saturday, but the vote is largely seen as a formality because most parties will be represented in the Cabinet, Reuters reported.

U.S.: Give 'angry young men' jobs

A top U.S. military commander in Iraq said Friday the formation of a new Iraqi government will let the country's leaders focus on a key breeding ground for insurgency: unemployment.

Army Lt. Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli said the "linchpin of a peaceful Iraq" is a healthy economy. "Take the angry young men off the street" and get them jobs, he said.

Chiarelli, commander of the Multinational Corps-Iraq, briefed reporters at the Pentagon on Friday in a teleconference from Iraq.

"Disillusionment, poverty and hopelessness are the breeding grounds of violence," he said.

If Al-Maliki's four-year-term government is approved, it will be a "historic and decisive moment" in Iraq, Chiarelli said, giving the country's new leaders time and stability to help improve security and develop its economy.

He noted that the new government ministers won't have to be concerned about another election or writing a constitution, the concerns of the past year and longer. Instead, he said, they will focus on governing.

Other developments

  • A gunbattle between police and insurgents in western Baghdad left two Iraqi civilians dead and two Iraqi police commandos wounded. The fighting broke out in the al-Jihad neighborhood Friday afternoon, Baghdad police said.
  • Earlier in the day, 10 Iraqi civilians were injured when a gunman opened fire on a moving minibus in the Abu Ghraib section of western Baghdad, police said.
  • Iraqi kidnappers have released a United Arab Emirates diplomat kidnapped this week in Baghdad, his brother told The Associated Press on Friday. Gunmen kidnapped Naji Noemi in an upscale Baghdad neighborhood Tuesday evening, wounding his Sudanese bodyguard in the process, police said. (Watch the hostage on videotape -- :42)
  • CNN's Barbara Starr and Mohammed Tawfeeq contributed to this report.

    Copyright 2006 CNN. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Associated Press contributed to this report.

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