Iraq: Dozens killed in string of bomb attacks

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December 18, 2005 18:05
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A string of bomb attacks and shootings overnight and on Sunday left nearly two dozen people dead, including two suicide bombers, shattering three days of relative calm that followed Iraq's first election for a full-term parliament. The upsurge in violence came as US Vice President Dick Cheney made a surprise visit, touring Iraq after parliamentary elections that he said saw a strong turnout among voters. The US hopes a broad-based government would give a new government the legitimacy it needs to deflate the insurgency - and allow US troops to begin withdrawing. Iraq's election commission said that it had received tally sheets from seven provinces and that they represented about 70 percent of the total vote. Commission official Safwat Rashid said they included Baghdad, Babil, Karbala, Najaf and Irbil, Anbar and Kirkuk and that the rest were "on their way."

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