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Page last updated at 14:57 GMT, Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Iraq bomb attacks kill at least eight people

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Eight people have been killed and 11 injured by two bombs in the central Iraqi town of Musayyab, police say.

The bombs were detonated within five minutes of each other on the main road in the town in Babil province, 60km (40 miles) south of the capital, Baghdad.

Police told the BBC the devices - a type known as "sticky bombs" - had been magnetically attached to the underside of two minibuses carrying passengers.

Earlier, a roadside bomb injured at least three police in eastern Baghdad.

Their patrol car was hit as it drove past al-Mustansriya University.

The blasts follow a suicide bombing in Fallujah on Monday, in which a at least seven people were killed, and come nine days after a parliamentary election that Iraqis hoped would bring more stability.

Electoral workers check ballot boxes in Baghdad (16 March 2010)
Election results have been delayed by technical issues and fraud allegations

Ballots are still being counted from the 7 March poll, but partial results show Prime Minster Nouri Maliki's State of Law coalition leading in seven of Iraq's 18 provinces, including the key battleground of Baghdad.

His alliance also was still ahead in the mostly Shia province of Basra, which contains the country's second-largest city.

The Iraqiya bloc of the former prime minister, Iyad Allawi, is ahead in five, including Nineveh province, where the second largest number of seats are allocated, and in the divided province of Kirkuk.

However, the count has been plagued by technical difficulties, the complicated nature of the ballot, and allegations of fraud.

No one group is expected to win a majority in the Council of Representatives, which could lead to months of coalition talks.

Sectarian violence erupted as politicians took months to form a government after the last parliamentary election in 2005.



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