Sunday, July 22, 2007


Associated Press:
The U.S. military detained two suspected weapons smugglers Sunday on suspicion of links to Iran's elite Quds Force, even as Washington plans new direct talks with Iran on the deteriorating security situation in Iraq.

Bombings and shootings left at least 18 people dead nationwide, including an Iraqi interpreter working for Americans in Kut, 100 miles southeast of Baghdad. A top aide to Iraq's Shiite spiritual leader Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani was stabbed to death Saturday in the holy city of Najaf, officials said. Police and al-Sistani's office declined to comment on the killing of Sheik Abdullah Falak al-Basrawi, the second al-Sistani aide slain in just over a month.

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