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Militants Attack Iraq Balloting Center 04/22 06:17

   BAGHDAD (AP) -- Militants wearing military uniforms carried out an overnight 
attack against a balloting center in a remote area of the country's north and 
killed 10 guards, a senior police official said on Tuesday.

   It was the latest in a surge of attacks around the country as Iraq gears up 
for crucial parliament elections on April 30. The attack came as Iraq's 
Shiite-led government struggled to keep a lid on a surge in sectarian violence 
that has sent bloodshed soaring to levels not seen since the country was pushed 
to the brink of civil war in 2006 and 2007.

   An unknown number of militants showed up at the polling center late Monday 
in Daqouq village outside the northern city of Kirkuk, , deputy police chief 
Maj. Gen. Torhan Abdul-Rahman Youssef said. He added that they were there to 
carry out a search, but instead shot and killed the 10 guards, eight of whom 
were village residents.

   Daqouq is located about 260 kilometers (162 miles) north of the capital, 
Baghdad.

   The attack was part of an ongoing effort by militants to derail elections in 
Sunni-dominated areas. It came just hours after a series of suicide bombings 
and other attacks across Iraq killed at least 33 people.

   The violence has led to a cancellation of balloting in parts of the 
Sunni-dominated Anbar province, which is engulfed in clashes between security 
forces and al-Qaida-inspired militants. The militants have seized and are 
holding parts of the provincial capital, Ramadi, and almost all of the nearby 
city of Fallujah.

   More than 9,000 candidates are taking part in the elections and will vie for 
328 seats in parliament.


(KA)


 
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