More than 30 people have been killed in sectarian violence in Baghdad – a day after George Bush called on Iraq’s warring factions to halt the bloodshed and embrace a better future. 15 members of a Shi-ite religious foundation died when their bus was bombed then attacked with machine guns. The other victims were killed by car bombs. The continuing cycle of violence in the Iraqi capital follows a meeting between Bush and the leading Shi-ite politician Abdul Aziz al-Hakim in which conflicting visions of the conflict were presented.
Al-Hakim said the solution was for the United States led coalition protect the Iraqi population by striking harder against Sunni militants. Bush put the onus on the Iraqi government to do more to control the situation. Tomorrow an influential biparty Study Group headed by former Secretary of State James Baker is set to present its policy recommendations on Iraq.