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Violence Increases as Political Wrangling Continues in Iraq


Five bombs around Baghdad Monday killed three policemen and one civilian Monday. They were among at least nine people killed in insurgent attacks around the country.

At least five Iraqi police officers were killed by gunmen at a checkpoint north of Baghdad. Officials said six attackers were killed in the ensuing clashes.

In Baghdad, at least five bombs went off in various parts of the city.

Insurgent attacks in Iraq Sunday killed two U.S. soldiers at at least five Iraqis.

There has been a resurgence of violence in Iraq in recent days, after a lull that followed the December 15 elections.

Political wrangling continues, meanwhile, over allegations of voting fraud in the December 15 parliamentary elections.

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani met with U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad Sunday, and called for a new government of national unity to be formed among the divergent political parties.

Minority Sunni and secular parties accuse the largely Shi'ite Islamic United Iraqi Alliance coalition of intimidating voters and stuffing ballot boxes in the December 15 election.

Preliminary results released by the Iraqi Electoral Commission show the Alliance won the largest bloc of seats in the new parliament.

So far, the Commission says there were only 35 serious cases of voting irregularities, none of which would significantly alter the outcome of the vote.