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Iraq Transition

More than 140 bodies turn up on Baghdad streets

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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- More than 140 bodies have been found dumped across Baghdad over the past three days, police said Wednesday.

Police said 52 bullet-riddled bodies were found Wednesday, with 20 of them blindfolded, tied up and possibly tortured.

Police also discovered 29 bodies on Tuesday and 60 on Monday.

The dead are thought to be victims of Sunni-Shiite sectarian revenge killings.

That word came as the U.N. Assistance Mission for Iraq issued a grim bimonthly human rights report that underscored the instability and death resulting from sectarian violence.

The report said 7,054 civilians were killed violently in September and October in Iraq, with almost 5,000 in Baghdad alone -- most of them shot to death and showing signs of torture. (Full story)

November's death toll continued to rise Wednesday as gunmen in Baghdad shot and killed a bodyguard of Iraq's parliament speaker and a journalist for a state newspaper.

In Baquba, about 40 miles (60 kilometers) northeast of Baghdad, gunmen killed three Iraqi police officers on patrol Wednesday morning, a police official said.

North of Baquba near Muqtadya, two Iraqis were killed, including an Iraqi soldier, and five others were wounded during two separate attacks targeting an Iraqi army checkpoint, the official said.

The U.S. military said Wednesday that two U.S. soldiers were killed Tuesday in northern Iraq.

A Task Force Lightning soldier assigned to 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division was killed and three others were wounded when a roadside bomb blew up near their vehicle in Salaheddin province, the military said.

Another soldier from the same unit also was killed Tuesday in a noncombat incident.

The American military death toll in Iraq is 2,869, including seven American civilian contractors of the military. There have been 49 troop deaths during November.

Bush, Iraqi leader to meet in Jordan next week

President Bush plans to meet with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki next week in the Jordanian capital of Amman.

The meeting, scheduled for November 29-30, will focus on the progress of the war in Iraq, the transfer of security duties to Iraqi forces and "the role of the region in supporting Iraq," according to a statement from the two leaders released by the White House on Tuesday.

Before going to Jordan, Bush will visit the Baltic states of Estonia and Latvia, starting Monday.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice also might attend the Amman summit.

Bush and al-Maliki have met before, during the president's surprise trip to Baghdad in June and during al-Maliki's visit to Washington in July.

The Jordan talks come as Bush is under increased pressure to make changes in U.S. strategy in the conflict, which has grown widely unpopular with the American public.

An independent commission led by former Secretary of State James Baker is expected to deliver its recommendations on the future of the war by the end of the year.

Democrats, who won control of both houses of Congress in midterm elections this month, have called for a "phased redeployment" of U.S. troops as a way to spur al-Maliki and other Iraqi leaders to take political steps toward ending the insurgent attacks and sectarian killings that have wracked the country this year.

Other developments

  • British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett expressed hope Wednesday that Britain could hand over security responsibilities to Iraqi troops and police in the southern Iraqi city of Basra next spring. (Full story)
  • Police launched a raid this week on an insurgent cell in the northern Babil province, detaining 28 people near Mahmoudiya, the U.S. military said Wednesday. The area, south of Baghdad, is in the region known as the "Triangle of Death." The cell is thought to be responsible for attacks on security forces and the stirring up of sectarian violence, the military said.
  • Backed by U.S.-led coalition advisers, Iraqi security forces battled insurgents early Tuesday in Baghdad's Sadr City neighborhood, the U.S. military said. At least five people were killed in the fighting, including a mother and her 8-month-old child, and 18 others were wounded, an Iraqi Health Ministry official said. Seven members of a cell were detained, including its leader, believed to have firsthand knowledge about an American soldier's abduction, the U.S. military said.
  • Iraq and Syria re-established diplomatic relations Tuesday, nearly a quarter century after they were first severed. The agreement was signed by Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari and Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem during a ceremony in Baghdad. (Full story)
  • CNN's Mohammed Tawfeeq contributed to this report.


    story.baquba.wed.afp.gi.jpg

    Hospital workers rush a wounded man into a hospital Wednesday in Baquba, northeast of Baghdad.

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