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Car Bomb Kills 7 in Western Iraq's Fallujah


Iraqi police say a car bomb has exploded on a busy street in the western city of Fallujah, killing at least seven people and wounding more than two dozen others.

Police say the bomb went off early Monday near a military checkpoint as a group of day laborers gathered for work nearby.

Fallujah is located in Anbar province, where violence has been relatively low since Sunni militant leaders turned against al-Qaida in 2006 to help U.S. and Iraqi forces fight the insurgents.

The car bombing comes as Iraq is counting votes from March 7 parliamentary elections.

On Sunday, election commission spokesman Qassem al Abboudi promised to have 60 percent of the votes counted by Monday.

Partial Iraqi election results show Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's coalition ahead in Baghdad and three mostly Shi'ite provinces to the south, including oil-rich Basra province.

Partial results show Mr. Maliki ahead in seven of the country's 18 provinces, while his secular rival -- former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi -- is ahead in at least four provinces, including the Sunni stronghold of Anbar.

Several other groups trail.

Elections officials have been downplaying reports of fraud and voter irregularities.

No faction is expected to win an outright majority, which means the leading parties will most likely have to build a coalition to form a new government.

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

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