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Page last updated at 06:44 GMT, Friday, 30 April 2010 07:44 UK

Bomb explodes in Baghdad on eve of election recount

Baghdad bomb 29 April 2010
The bombing in south-east Baghdad killed eight and injured 20 people

A car bomb in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, has killed eight people and injured at least 20.

The bomb struck late in the evening on Thursday near an alcohol shop.

Also on Thursday, Iraqi election officials said that a recount of the Baghdad ballots from the parliamentary vote on 7 March could take three weeks.

A recent report by Amnesty International argued that political uncertainty was contributing to a rise in the number of civilian deaths.

The human rights group said that more than 100 civilians were killed in the first week of April alone.

Many were targeted by armed groups because of their religious, ethnic or sexual identity, it said.

Prime Minister Nouri Maliki's Shia coalition narrowly lost by two seats to former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi's bloc.

Mr Maliki has challenged the results, alleging fraud.

The electoral commission refused demands for recounts in other provinces, but granted a recount in Baghdad, home to about 25% of Iraq's population.

The recount affects 68 seats in a 325-seat parliament. It could eliminate Mr Allawi's narrow lead.



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