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Car Bombs in Iraq Kill 30, Verdict in Saddam Trial Due in November


Iraqi authorities say three separate car bombs across Iraq have left at least 30 people dead in new sectarian violence.

They say the first blast near a bank in the town of Suwayra Monday killed at least 10 people. In Baghdad, two separate bomb explosions left at least 20 dead as Muslims gathered to break their fast during the holy month of Ramadan.

In the northern town of Balad, hospital and army sources say Shi'ite militiamen have killed at least 74 Sunnis since gunmen killed 14 Shi'ite workers near the city Friday.

Meanwhile, Iraqi court officials say the verdict in the first trial of Saddam Hussein will be likely announced November 5.

In the first case, Saddam is charged with crimes against humanity, including murder and torture, in connection with the killing of 148 Shi'ites in 1982. He faces the death penalty if convicted.

Iraqi court officials said the verdict for Saddam's seven co-defendants should be delivered the same day. The co-defendants are also charged with crimes against humanity.

Also Monday, U.S. President George Bush called Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to reiterate his support for his democratically elected government.

Mr. Bush told Mr. Maliki to "ignore" rumors that the U.S. was seeking to impose a timeline on the Iraqi government to improve the security situation.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.