Formation of Iraqi cabinet delayed as violence continues
At least eight people died in Iraq's violence as prime minister-designate Nuri al-Maliki missed a personal deadline to present his new cabinet. Maliki had pledged to have the government ready by Wednesday.
According to sources close to the negotiations, the delay in the formation of Iraq's new government is due to a dispute within the dominant Shiite alliance over who will head the oil ministry.
According to AFP, three Shiite candidates are currently vying for the oil minister's post, with prominent independent Shiite politician Hussein Shahristani emerging as the frontrunner.
Meanwhile, violence continued in Baghdad Thursday when four street cleaners died as a a bomb hidden in the wealthy Mansur neighborhood in western Baghdad went off.
Elsewhere in the city, investigative Judge Firas Mohammed was killed as he drove to work in western Baghdad when a car pulled up beside him and its passengers sprayed him with bullets.
In Baquba, north of Baghdad, high school history teacher Widad al-Shaml was shot dead in a drive-by shooting as she was walking her daughter to school.
Two Iraqi army soldiers were also killed and four others injured near Balad, north of Baghdad, in a roadside bomb attack. A US soldier also died in a roadside bombing southwest of Baghdad.