Iraq blasts mar Biden's call for new gov't, unity

BAGHDAD  — US Vice President Joe Biden urged rival Iraqi politicians Sunday to end months of delays and select new leaders for their wobbly democracy, predicting a peaceful transition of power even as suicide bombers struck government centers in two major cities.
The attacks in Mosul and Ramadi underscored persistent fears that insurgents will exploit Iraq's political uncertainty to stoke widespread sectarian violence. Four people were killed and 25 injured in the two blasts that occurred hundreds of miles apart.
The twin explosions on the Fourth of July illustrated the vexing nature of the US involvement in Iraq and its efforts to nudge the country toward stability and democracy.
At least five mortar rounds also fell in the Green Zone late Sunday when Biden was there, said Iraqi police officials. The Green Zone is the sprawling protected area in the heart of Baghdad that is home to the US Embassy as well as the Iraqi parliament and prime minister's office.