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Iraqi Government Dismisses Calls to Postpone Elections

A spokesman for Iraq's interim government has rejected calls, mainly by Sunni and Kurdish groups, to postpone the country's first national elections.

The political groups have demanded that the government delay the scheduled January 30 poll by at least six months because of ongoing violence. Iraq's majority Shi'ites have consistently rejected those demands.

Several political factions have called for a boycott of the elections, and various groups have expressed concern that fear of violence would discourage Iraqis from voting. But a spokesman for Prime Minister Iyad Allawi says the Iraqi leader is not convinced that delaying the elections would increase participation.

Meanwhile, insurgent attacks continue in Iraq. U.S. military officials say two soldiers were wounded Sunday when a car bomb blew up next to their convoy on a road leading to the Baghdad airport.