At least 14 dead as Iraqi leaders agree on summit agenda
At least 12 people died and 31 were injured in an intensive mortar bombardment of an eastern Baghdad suburb on Sunday, security and medical officials said. According to AFP, an interior ministry official said the attack came during heavy clashes in the mainly Shiite suburb of Al-Obeidi between the US military and militiamen.
"Many mortars were fired. The area has been sealed off," the official said.
A security official said at least five mortar shells hit the suburb and that all those killed were civilians.
The Al-Sadr hospital in the Sadr City slum reported receiving 12 bodies and 18 wounded people, while the Ibn Nafees hospital in central Baghdad said 13 wounded had been taken there for treatment.
In another incident, one person was killed and five wounded when a bomb hidden in a motorcycle exploded in the busy Al-Shorjah market close to the city centre, a security official said.
Separately, one person was killed and three were hurt when a roadside bomb went off in central Baghdad's Mishin area, a security official said.
Meanwhile, Iraq's leaders on Sunday agreed on the agenda for a political summit called by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki in an attempt to salvage his crumbling unity government, an official said. The breakthrough came on the second day of preparatory talks involving the country's most senior political leaders, Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi said in a statement.
"We reached agreement on a number of issues," the statement said. "The most important is the agenda for the summit and who will attend the meeting."
Talks involving Maliki, Kurdish President Jalal Talabani, Hashemi, who is a Sunni, Shiite Vice President Adel Abdel Mahdi, and Masud Barzani, president of the northern Kurdish region, started on Saturday and continued into Sunday, an official from Talabani's office said.
No date has yet been set for the summit but the official said it would likely occur "in a couple of days."