Tuesday, October 03, 2006

AP: Lawmakers across party lines Tuesday endorsed the prime minister's new plan for stopping sectarian killings, but Shiite and Sunni leaders still must work out details of how to put aside sharp divisions and work together to halt the bloodshed. [...] The government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has been under intense pressure to put an end to Shiite-Sunni violence that has killed thousands of people this year. This week, gunmen carried out two mass kidnappings in as many days, abducting 38 people from their workplaces in Baghdad — attacks that Sunnis said were carried out by Shiite militias. On Monday night, al-Maliki announced a four-point plan aimed at uniting the sharply divided Shiite and Sunni parties in his government behind security efforts to stop the bloodshed. [...] Al-Maliki's plan, signed by all sides, aims to resolve disputes by giving every party a voice in how security forces operate against violence on a neighborhood-by- neighborhood level. [...]