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Iraq to Ease Election Day Rules in Troubled Provinces

The Iraqi government says it will allow same-day registration and voting in the country's most troubled regions during the upcoming national election, now just over two weeks away.

Iraq's Election Commission chairman, Abdul-Hussein Hendawi, announced the voting plan Saturday, along with a series of security measures intended to safeguard the election.

Iraqi citizens will be allowed to register and cast their ballots on the spot on January 30 in Anbar and Ninevah provinces - home to the cities of Fallujah and Mosul, the scene of intense insurgent activity for months.

In Baghdad Saturday, explosions from at least three mortar shells shook a heavily fortified police station just outside the capital's Green Zone - the closely guarded diplomatic and administrative compound. The mortar attack scattered journalists who were arriving for a security briefing by a U.S. Army general.

And in a separate development, the Iraqi Defense Ministry confirmed an Arabic newspaper report that an Iraqi woman tried to assassinate the interim government's defense minister during his visit to Syria. The attacker reportedly fainted before she could carry out her mission.

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