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17 January 2005 -- At least seven Iraqi soldiers were killed today when armed men opened fire on them at a checkpoint in central Iraq.
The attack occurred near the city of Ba'qubah, which has seen frequent attacks by militants as they press on with a campaign of violence aimed at derailing Iraq's 30 January elections.
Most of the attacks have targeted Iraqi police and soldiers of the National Guard.
Iraqi and U.S. officials have said that despite the ongoing violence, the elections will go ahead as planned.
Interim Iraqi President Ghazi al-Yawir said that if the elections were postponed for six months, there is no guarantee the violence would lessen.
(Reuters/AP/AFP)[For the latest news and analysis on Iraq, see RFE/RL's webpage on "The New Iraq".]