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Suicide Bomber Kills 4 at Iraqi Election Center

At least four people were killed in western Iraq Thursday when a suicide bomber blew himself up in a vote-counting center after polls closed in two provinces.

Authorities say the incident happened in Ramadi, in Anbar province, more than 100 kilometers west of Baghdad. No one has claimed responsibility.

Voters in Anbar and a second Sunni-majority province, Ninevah, cast ballots for local councils. The elections had been postponed for two months because of security concerns.

Anbar and Ninevah have seen repeated protests against Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's Shi'ite-led government.

The elections are widely viewed as a measure of the strength of political parties ahead of parliamentary elections scheduled for next year.



With the exception of the autonomous Kurdistan region in the north, voters in 12 other Iraqi provinces cast their ballots in April. The three Kurdish provinces hold elections on their own timetable. Voters there are scheduled to go to the polls in September.

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