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Iraq PM: No delay on election date

Five Iraqis killed in Samarra roadside bombing


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U.S. soldiers secure the area after a bomb damaged a military supply truck in Baghdad on Saturday.
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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.

Allawi's message came as insurgent attacks Sunday killed five Iraqis and bombings on Saturday killed two civilians, three police officers and a U.S. soldier, authorities said.

On Friday, 15 Iraqi political parties and former Iraqi Governing Council President Adnan Pachachi called for a delay to Iraqi elections, when voters nationwide will choose a 275-seat transitional national assembly.

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

"He doesn't want to postpone it," said Allawi spokesman Thair al-Nakib on Saturday. (Full story)

Weekend attacks

On Sunday, about 75 miles (121 kilometers) north of Baghdad, a roadside bomb hit two civilian vehicles killing five Iraqis, a spokesman for the U.S. Army's 1st Infantry Division said.

An ambulance and a patrol from the 2nd Minister of the Interior Commando Battalion responded and is investigating the incident, according to the spokesman.

Earlier Sunday, a car bomb exploded near a U.S. military convoy traveling on a highway to Baghdad International Airport, the U.S. military said. The bomb wounded two U.S. soldiers and damaged a military vehicle.

Also Sunday, Iraqi police arrested two men driving a vehicle packed with explosives in the capital's Al-Jadriya neighborhood near Baghdad University, police officials said.

Bomb experts defused the explosives in the vehicle, which also contained remote controls, radios and other items.

In central Baquba on Sunday, about 30 miles (48 kilometers) north of Baghdad, insurgents fired at least four mortar rounds at the Al-Wahda police station, wounding three Iraqis -- including a police officer -- police said.

On Saturday, a U.S. soldier, two civilians and three police officers were killed in three separate bomb attacks, authorities said.

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 said. The blast killed two civilians who were not bank employees.

At the Al-Dora intersection in southern Baghdad about 30 minutes later, a roadside bomb killed three Iraqi police officers, police said.

North of Baghdad, a roadside bomb blast killed a U.S. soldier shortly after dawn Saturday, according to a military statement.

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

Iraqi exile killed

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

  • A Philippines delegation is in Baghdad Sunday, appealing for the release of Robert Tarongoy, a Filipino who was taken hostage from Baghdad's al-Mansour district on November 1. He is being held along with an American -- both employees of Saudi Automotive Services Company (SASCO). Philippine diplomat Rafael Seguis said: "We are appealing to his abductors to release him in the spirit of human compassion for a person who has done nothing wrong to anyone."
  • 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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