Iraqi authorities say gunmen have ambushed and killed 12 Iraqi soldiers near the northern city of Kirkuk.
Officials say the attackers shot and killed the soldiers after stopping their bus on a road leading to the oil-rich city late Wednesday.
It was the deadliest single attack in Iraq since Sunday's election to choose members of the country's interim national assembly.
Election workers are still counting votes.
An influential association of Sunni Muslim clerics said the assembly will lack the authority to draft a new constitution, because many Sunnis did not vote.
Iraq's interim prime minister Iyad Allawi said he wants to ensure all parts of Iraqi society have a role in its new government. Mr. Allawi held talks Wednesday with leaders from the country's political and religious factions, including Sunni leaders.