Constitution likely to anger some women
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- A chapter of Iraq's draft constitution obtained by The Associated Press on Monday gives Islam a major role in Iraqi civil law, raising concerns that women could lose rights in marriage, divorce and inheritance.
The proposal also appears to rule out nongovernmental militias, an area addressed Monday by the new U.S. ambassador, Zalmay Khalilzad. Urging Iraqis to build national institutions, he said there is no place for factional forces that "build the infrastructure for a future civil war."
The civil law section, one of six to make up Iraq's new charter, covers the rights and duties of citizens and public and private freedoms. The language in the chapter is not final, but members of the charter drafting committee said there was agreement on most of its wording.
Committee members have been rushing to complete the constitution so the Iraqi National Assembly can set the final wording by Aug. 15.
Meanwhile, a minibus packed with explosives blew up Monday at a checkpoint outside a hotel once used by American contract workers, killing at least 12 people and wounding at least 18. A second suicide bomber killed two Iraqi commandos and injured 10 people in an attack at a police garrison in the capital.
A U.S. soldier was killed Monday when a roadside bomb exploded under his vehicle near Samarra, 60 miles north of Baghdad, the U.S. command said. At least 1,778 U.S. military personnel have died since the Iraq war began in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count.