Accessibility links

Violence Rocks Iraq Ahead of Vote Results

Iraqi security officials say twin blasts killed at least 20 people north of Baghdad Friday, just as the nation awaits full results of parliamentary elections.

Authorities say the attacks took place in northern Diyala province. At least 55 people were wounded.

Iraq's electoral commission says it will release the full results of the March 7 elections Friday. The race has been very tight and sparked fears of unrest.

Election officials say that of the 325 parliamentary seats, it appears only one or two seats will separate the coalition of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and the coalition of his main rival, former prime minister Ayad Allawi.

Security is tight in central Baghdad, where about 300 supporters of Mr. Maliki's coalition rallied for a manual recount. Iraq's electoral commission has rejected the prime minister's call for a recount, but says it will look into complaints of fraud.

The outcome could mean that Mr. Maliki's State of Law coalition and Mr. Allawi's Iraqiya coalition will have to spend weeks or months forming a new government.

Mr. Allawi's strong support among minority Sunni Muslims has prompted concerns that any attempt by majority Shi'ite coalitions to sideline him could lead to sectarian violence.

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