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Iraq Transition

Police find 26 bodies in Baghdad

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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Iraqi police found 26 bodies Tuesday in different neighborhoods of Baghdad, the Iraqi Interior Ministry said.

Eleven bodies were discovered near a school in southwestern Baghdad's Turah neighborhood, the ministry said.

Six bodies were found dumped in the Um al-Maalif district, also in the southwestern part of the capital, the ministry said.

The men were blindfolded and had their hands tied behind their backs. Some showed signs of torture.

Iraqi police were working to identify the bodies, the ministry said.

About 30 miles (48 kilometers) north of Baghdad, an attack on the Baquba office of radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr killed two and injured another, a police official said.

Attackers pounded the office with mortar rounds and rocket-propelled grenades, damaging part of the building, the official said.

Gunmen also killed seven people and wounded four in four other shootings in Baquba, a police official said.

On Monday, a U.S. soldier was killed in Anbar province, west of Baghdad, a military statement said.

The soldier was assigned to the Army's Regimental Combat Team 7 and "died from wounds sustained due to enemy action," according to the military.

Separately, a Nebraska National Guard soldier died Monday of injuries he sustained when his vehicle rolled over into a canal near Balad, about 60 miles (100 kilometers) north of Baghdad, on August 21.

Since the start of the war in 2003, there have been 2,626 U.S. military fatalities in Iraq. Seven American civilian contractors of the military also have died in the conflict.

Iraqi troops may have been executed

Several of the bodies of 23 Iraqi soldiers killed during intense fighting last weekend in southern Iraq against followers of al-Sadr show signs of being executed, Iraqi defense sources said Tuesday.

A high-ranking Defense Ministry official said some of the soldiers were captured, then killed at short range -- execution-style -- during fighting in Diwaniya, a city more than 100 miles (161 kilometers) south of Baghdad.

Thirty-eight militiamen were killed in the battle, U.S. and Iraqi military officials said.

U.S. attorney general visits Iraq

U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales arrived Tuesday in Baghdad, where he met with Department of Justice employees and Iraqi officials trying to rebuild the country's legal system.

"People have great ambitions and dreams for a great Iraq, but those can only be realized if there is a rule of law in this country and if there is security," Gonzales said after touring a new legal facility.

"What we are trying to achieve will take time. We are making progress, but we have more work to do."

The U.S. Congress, he said, recently approved $100 million for the Iraqi court system and prisons.

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