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U.N. officials discuss bombings in Baghdad

Residents look over the aftermath of a car bomb attack in Baghdad's Shaab District in northern Baghdad, Iraq on July 31, 2009. At least 20 people were killed in the blast. Five bombs exploded near Shiite mosques across Baghdad in a coordinated attack that left at least 29 dead and scores wounded. UPI/Ali Jasim
Residents look over the aftermath of a car bomb attack in Baghdad's Shaab District in northern Baghdad, Iraq on July 31, 2009. At least 20 people were killed in the blast. Five bombs exploded near Shiite mosques across Baghdad in a coordinated attack that left at least 29 dead and scores wounded. UPI/Ali Jasim | License Photo

BAGHDAD, Nov. 3 (UPI) -- Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki met with a top U.N. envoy in Baghdad to address defense and sovereignty issues relating to a string of deadly attacks.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon dispatched Assistant Secretary-General Oscar Fernandez-Taranco to Iraq to discuss Baghdad's concerns over foreign meddling following deadly bombings in August and October.

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Suicide bombers struck government buildings in Baghdad during the morning commute Oct. 25, killing more than 150 people in the coordinated attacks. A similar attack struck the Iraqi capital on Aug. 19.

Iraq called on the United Nations to conduct an investigation following the October attacks to determine if any foreign governments were behind the latest string of bombings.

Baghdad blames foreign elements for the attacks. Branches of al-Qaida in Iraq issued separate claims of responsibility for the bombings.

Fernandez-Taranco held discussions with Maliki and other top government officials in Baghdad to discuss their concerns, the United Nations said.

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani had called for an independent commission to examine the Aug. 19 attacks during talks before the U.N. General Assembly in September.

Ban said such a commission would require a U.N. Security Council mandate, however.

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