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Election Eve Violence in Iraq Kills At Least 8

At least eight people were killed Friday in attacks on the eve of Iraq's first election since U.S. troops left the country.

Mortars hit a Sunni Muslim mosque in a village near Khalis during Friday prayers, killing seven and wounding a dozen. A bomb also exploded inside a Shi'ite mosque in Kirkuk, leaving at least one dead.

The violence came a day after a suicide bomber blew himself up on Thursday evening inside a Baghdad cafe, killing at least 27 - part of a wave attacks that left more than 70 dead this week.



Iraqi authorities have pressed on with plans to hold Saturday's provincial council elections in 12 of Iraq's 18 provinces in spite of the violence. More than 8,000 candidates are competing for about 400 seats in the councils.

It will be Iraq's first national vote since U.S. troops left in 2011, ending a mission to train Iraqi forces to secure the country after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion that ousted dictator Saddam Hussein.

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