Baghdad bombs kill 2 amid political delays
Deputy PM: Defense, interior ministers to be named 'soon'
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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Two bombs in central Baghdad killed two people and wounded 17 others Sunday, police said, while Iraq's deputy prime minister pleaded for patience over a delay in filling the new government's top security positions.
The first bomb struck an Iraqi army patrol in the Iraqi capital's Tahariyat Square, killing one soldier and wounding five others, a Baghdad police official said.
Minutes later, a second roadside bomb exploded as police and firefighters responded to the first bombing. A police officer was killed and 12 other people were wounded.
Meanwhile, the deputy prime minister, Barham Salih, vowed that the posts of defense minister and interior minister would be filled in short order.
The positions are considered crucial because those who hold them would be in the vanguard of defeating the insurgency and establishing order in war-torn Iraq.
"My hope is that people outside would understand the scale of the difficulties we're dealing with, certainly on the security file," Salih told CNN's "Late Edition."
"Sometimes we need more time than people are willing to give us."
Last weekend, when the new Iraqi government was sworn in, the hope was that the top security jobs could be filled within a week.
Still, Salih said he had just spoken with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, "and he's committed to make the decision very soon."
Salih said it "is a safe bet ... but not by any means a foregone conclusion" that the defense minister will be an Iraqi Sunni and the interior minister a Shiite.
"The searches have been within those parameters, but if a good Shia were to come and be agreed to that particular post of defense minister, I'm sure it would be considered favorably."
Their ethnicity is seen as critical, given that al-Maliki has vowed to disarm the militias loyal to Iraq's various ethnic groups -- one of the most difficult issues the new prime minister faces.
"The issue of organized armed groups who are acting outside the state and outside the law are becoming a serious problem for our politics and our society and we have to deal with it," Salih said.
A spokesman for Iraq's dominant political bloc said the defense and interior ministers will be named "in two or three days."
Bahaa al-Araji of the Shiite-led United Iraqi Alliance told reporters Sunday that the defense post candidates are Saadoun al-Dulaimi, the transitional defense minister; Mohammed Baraa al-Rubaie, a brigadier general in Iraq's pre-2003 army; and Osama Najafi, former minister of industry and minerals in the transitional government.
The candidates for the Ministry of the Interior are Mowaffak al-Rubaie, who had been national security adviser; and Tawfeeq al-Yassir, a former brigadier general during the Saddam Hussein era who served in the transitional government's security council, al-Araji said.
Al-Maliki will select candidates for a six-month trial basis, Al-Araji said.
There was no immediate reaction from the Sunni-led Iraqi Accord Front. Sunnis have objected to Shiite leadership of the Interior Ministry, which controls the national police force.
Iraqi Interior Ministry commandos have been accused of carrying out killings in death squads, with Shiites in the agency allegedly targeting Sunnis. The agency has denied involvement.
Salih, who is a Kurd, denied that there is one standard for the Kurdish Peshmerga, who are to be integrated into the new Iraqi security force, and another for Shiite fighters -- the Badr militia and the Mehdi militia.
"The Kurdistan regional government has been in existence over the last 14 years, and this issue of militias have been dealt with for almost a decade now," he said.
Human heads found
Gunmen killed two Iraqi officials, an Iraqi soldier and an Iraqi policeman Sunday in attacks across the Iraqi capital, according to a Baghdad police official.
Here is a rundown of Sunday's shootings in Baghdad:
Elsewhere Sunday, police found three unidentified human heads in a plastic sack near a drainage canal just northwest of Baquba, which is 35 miles (60 kilometers) north of Baghdad.
A roadside bomb struck a Diyala provincial council convoy northeast of Baquba, killing a guard and wounding five other people, police said. Council leader Ibrahim Hassan Ahmed Bajilan escaped unharmed in the morning incident, which occurred in Wess -- nearly 45 miles northeast of Baquba.
A roadside bomb wounded three police officers and a civilian Sunday in the northern city of Mosul, police and hospital officials said. The explosive targeted a police patrol in the southern part of the city, the sources said.
CNN's Jennifer Deaton and Mohammed Tawfeeq contributed to this report.
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