Iraq's constitution-writing hits impasse
Sunni Arab delegation wants assurances before rejoining
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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- The Sunni Arab delegation of Iraq's constitution-writing committee wants a number of assurances before it returns to the painstaking work of completing a draft document by an August 15 deadline, a Western official told CNN.
Meanwhile, police in Baghdad said insurgents launched more attacks Friday, killing eight people, including six police officers.
The three separate morning attacks were carried out within a two-hour timeframe in the neighborhoods of Baladiyat, Mashtel and near Waiziriya.
The now 14-person Sunni delegation suspended its participation in the constitution draft process after a 15th committee member, Mijbil Ali Hussein al-Sheikh Issa, was shot and killed in Baghdad earlier this week. Two other people, including a consultant to the committee, were also killed.
The delegation wants better security and an international probe into the deaths, said the Western official, who told reporters the Sunnis have expressed doubts about the credibility of an Interior Ministry probe.
He added that the Sunnis will return to work, once those requirements are met.
In addition, Sunni Arabs want assurances that a draft not be disseminated until work is completed and that regional geographic divisions not be written into the document, the official said.
The original 55-member constitution committee enlarged to accommodate the 15 Sunni Arabs, who have been marginalized in the new Shiite Arab- and Kurdish-dominated government. The Iraqi government, realizing that many Sunni Arabs were supportive of the insurgency, fostered Sunni Arab inclusion to win hearts and minds.
An American official at the briefing said the United States has stressed to Iraqis the importance of finishing the draft on time. Once a draft is completed and approved by the transitional National Assembly, voters will have a chance to approve it in a referendum scheduled by October 15.
Among the issues being hammered out are federalism, women's rights and the role of Islam. Officials want public comment on the document and have set up an e-mail address and boxes in public buildings for people to send views and ask questions.
CNN's Kevin Flower, Cal Perry and Enes Dulami contributed to this report.
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