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Iraq Braces For Final Election Results


http://gdb.rferl.org/EB08A551-FE4A-4388-9031-25284926B81F_w203.jpg --> http://gdb.rferl.org/EB08A551-FE4A-4388-9031-25284926B81F_mw800_mh600.jpg Iraqi officials fear that violent protests could break out at the announcement of results (epa) 20 January 2006 -- Iraqi security forces in Baghdad and several major provinces have been placed on high alert today ahead of the planned announcement of final results from the country's 15 December parliamentary elections.


An estimated 5,000 extra soldiers deployed in the capital, setting up extra checkpoints. State television said the three restive governorates of Diyala, Salahiddin, and Al-Anbar will be sealed off for 48 hours starting this morning to lower the risk of terror attacks.


Partial election results available so far suggest an alliance of Shi'ite religious parties won the most seats in the 275-member parliament, but not enough to govern without coalition partners.


In other news, four Iraqi civilians were reported killed today when a roadside bomb exploded in central Baghdad. Police said the bomb appeared to have targeted a passing U.S. military convoy.


Also today, one of Iraq's most influential Sunni leaders, Adnan al-Dulaymi, called on kidnappers holding American journalist Jill Carroll to release her.


"I'm pleading and calling on those who kidnapped the U.S. journalist Jill Carroll. I call for them to release her. She is a woman who strived for Iraq, defending Iraq and Iraqis, condemning the war on Iraq. She is here to cover Iraq's news and bring it out to the world. I call for [her release] for the sake of God, for holy things that you believe in," al-Dulaymi said.


The kidnappers have threatened to kill Carroll today unless the government releases all female prisoners.


(compiled from agency reports)

Coalition Images Of The Voting


The Multinational Force in Iraq on December 15, 2005, released official images of the voting in the legislative elections. To view a slideshow of their photographs, click on the image.

To see RFE/RL's special webpage about the election, click here.

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