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Iraqi election workers killed in drive-by shooting

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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- An Iraqi election group announced Friday that three of its workers had died in a drive-by shooting earlier this week.

Sayid Essa Sayid Jaafar, a spokesman for the Hezbollah Movement in Iraq, said masked gunmen in a black BMW and a Daewoo opened fire Wednesday night on the members at a market area in the Al-Shula neighborhood of Baghdad.

Sattar Jabbar Al-Mishari, head of Hezbollah's operations in Baghdad, and two office workers died. Al-Mishari had received death threats because of his participation in the election process, Jaafar said.

This election group is not affiliated with the militant movement in Lebanon or another in Iraq that also bear the Hezbollah name.

Al-Mishari's organization is one of the groups that joined the United Iraq Alliance, the largely Shiite coalition that is fielding candidates for the January 30 election.

The Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq announced a change Friday in the deadline for candidate-list registration.

Wednesday is the nationwide deadline. Previously, the cut-off had been today for 15 of 18 provinces, and Wednesday for the country's three most restive provinces -- Al-Anbar, Salah ad Din and Nineveh.

Falluja and Ramadi are in Al-Anbar, Samarra and Tikrit are in Salah ad Din and Mosul and Tal Afar are in Nineveh.

After Wednesday, the political parties and entities will not be allowed to make any further changes to their lists, names, and logos.

Helicopter accident

The coalition death toll rose during the night after an airfield accident killed two soldiers, and a Marine on security patrol in the al-Anbar province died in action. The number of U.S. troops who have died in the Iraq conflict totals 1,287 -- 1,010 in combat.

Earlier Thursday, U.S. Marines found weapons and ordnance at a school and playground in Ramadi, west of Baghdad, a U.S. military statement says.

"Marines seized a cache that included an assortment of AK-47s, RPGs, RPKs (Kalashnikov-like machine guns), various-sized mortar rounds and rockets while soldiers seized three 60-millimeter mortar systems and six 60-millimeter mortar rounds," the statement said.

Ramadi is in Iraq's expansive al-Anbar province, a region with a strong presence of Iraqi insurgents.

Also on Thursday, eight Iraqi national guard members were wounded in a mortar attack on their base in Baghdad, police said.

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