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Mosque suicide bomber kills 13 in Baghdad

Shortly after Iraq’s new prime minister-delegate called for national unity at his first official news conference on Monday, a man wearing an explosive vest detonated himself inside a Shiite mosque here, killing 13 people and underscoring the great challenges the country’s leaders face in trying to hold the country together.

Haidar al-Abadi, the prime minister-delegate, is negotiating with the country’s political blocs to form a government before Sept. 11 under a deadline set by the Iraqi Constitution. The United States has called the formation of an inclusive Iraqi government the first step in addressing the country’s many problems, which include reforming the security forces and battling the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, a jihadist group that has taken over large parts of the country.

Speaking to reporters, Mr. Abadi said that he had been engaged in ‘productive’ discussions with the country’s political blocs and that he would present a mission statement for the new government in the next two days.

‘We seek to form a government capable of directing the country’s abilities in the right direction, uniting national efforts and integrating all abilities and skills,’ he said.

‘We face a fierce enemy, which is terrorism,’ Mr. Abadi said of ISIS. ‘This terror confronts all Iraqis, the region and in fact the whole world.’

To help combat the group, Mr. Abadi said he planned to increase support for groups of armed citizens who defend their areas, but said they can only operate under the umbrella of the official security forces.
Agencies

Agencies

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