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Iraq renews call for UN inquiry after recent bombings

[JURIST] Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari [official profile] on Monday renewed calls for a formal UN inquiry to investigate those responsible for bombings in the country following twin suicide bombings [JURIST report] in Baghdad Sunday, which are believed to have killed more than 150. Zebari asked the UN General Assembly and the Security Council [official websites] to appoint a special envoy to probe possible sources that are targeting the country's stability. Zebari's appeal echoes similar requests made by Iraqi President Jalal Talabani and Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki [JURIST reports] following the August 19 bombing of the foreign and finance ministries [BBC report] that left close to 100 dead. The Iraqi government is blaming both attacks on al Qaeda and former members of Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath party. The government has accused [Reuters report] Syria of providing support to those behind the bombings, based on that country's refusal to hand over individuals suspected of planning the August attack.

The bombings targeted the ministry of justice and the headquarters of the local provincial government ahead of an attempt by the Iraqi parliament [official website, in Arabic] to resolve a political stalemate that would permit changes to the country's election law. The elections, which are planned for January, cannot be held until a new election law is passed, and parliament continues to disagree about the exact changes to be made to the law, which was originally passed in September 2008. The Iraqi parliament's last attempt to change the election law [JURIST report] failed earlier last week. Iraqi political leaders reached an agreement on a compromise version Monday and sent it to parliament for debate on Tuesday.

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