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Iraq PM: Election should go ahead

5 Iraqis killed by Baghdad bombs


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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Iraq's interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi is not convinced that delaying elections scheduled for January 30 will make them any more safe or secure, his spokesman says.

His comments came on the day that two separate bomb attacks in the Iraqi capital killed five Iraqis.

"He doesn't want to postpone it," said Thair al-Nakib, who appeared at a news briefing Saturday. (Full story)

Fifteen Iraqi political parties, backed by former Iraqi Governing Council President Adnan Pachachi, called Friday for delaying the elections to pick a 275-seat transitional national assembly.

The parties said there was insufficient time to prepare, campaign and create a secure environment for balloting.

Deadly bombs in Baghdad

Two civilians and three police officers were killed in Saturday's bomb attacks in Baghdad, and 15 others injured, according to police officials.

One bomb detonated around 8:45 a.m. (12:45 a.m. ET) near the Iraqi Central bank on Al-Rasheed Street, a Baghdad police official told CNN.

The official believes that the bomb was targeting bank employees, but two civilians who did not work at the bank were killed.

About 30 minutes later, a roadside bomb exploded at the al-Dora intersection in southern Baghdad, killing three Iraqi police officers.

Also, a roadside bomb north of Baghdad killed a U.S. soldier shortly after dawn Saturday.

The bomb targeted a U.S. military combat patrol, killing a 1st Infantry Division soldier, according to a military statement. The explosion, which happened near Ad Duluiya about 60 miles (97 km) north of Baghdad, also damaged an M1 Abrams tank, the military said.

Meanwhile, an Iraqi National Coalition source said Saturday that an exiled Iraqi officer and high-ranking official in the Iraqi National Coalition was assassinated in Baghdad Thursday morning, two days after he returned to Iraq.

A doctor and a colonel in the former Iraqi army, Dr. Nasif Jawad al-Masaudi was in charge of the Iraqi National Coalition's Office of Provincial Relations and was gunned down on his way into his Baghdad office, according to the office of Justice Minister Malik al-Hassan.

Al-Masaudi had just returned to Iraq from Amman, Jordan, where he fled after participating in the failed 1991 uprising against Saddam Hussein.

He is the third Iraqi National Coalition official assassinated in Baghdad in the past month. The Iraqi National Coalition is a coalition of several Iraqi political parties.

Other developments

  • U.S. troops found 17 bodies in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul on Friday, bringing the number of bodies found in and around the city in the past eight days to 57.
  • Brigadier Abdullah Shimari, head of the Iraqi National Guard in Hebib, a small city about nine miles (15 kilometers) north of Baquba, was gunned down as he was leaving his home at 4:30 p.m. Friday, local authorities said.
  • Some 1,235 U.S. service personnel have died in Iraq -- 964 from hostile fire -- since the beginning of the U.S.-led war in March 2003.
  • CNN's Nic Robertson, Mohammed Tawfeeq and Nermin Mufti contributed to this report.


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