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Iraqi Shi'ite Coalition Elects Al-Jaafari as Prime Minister


Iraq's ruling Shi'ite alliance has chosen incumbent Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari to head the new government.

He received 64 votes in the caucus of Shi'ite legislators, beating his rival, Vice President Abel Abdul-Mahdi by one vote.

The Shi'ite alliance won a majority in Iraq's December legislative election. Naming the prime minister is a key step in forming a new Iraqi government, the nation's first post-Saddam Hussein parliament with a four-year mandate.

Separately, Iraqi police say at least 12 people were wounded today when two roadside bombs exploded in quick succession near a restaurant in central Baghdad.

Also, the U.S. military says insurgents fired a mortar round Sunday into the heavily fortified Green Zone, home to the U.S. Embassy and Iraqi government. There were no reports of casualties.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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