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Tariq al-Hashimi (L), leader of the Sunni-based bloc Iraqi Accordance Front (file photo) (AFP)
21 January 2006 -- Sunni Arab politicians are calling for a government of national unity in Iraq.
Official returns from the 15 December parliamentary elections released on 20 January showed that the coalition of Shi'ite religious parties that dominates the outgoing government has again won the largest number of seats in the new parliament. But they have not captured enough seats to govern without partners.
Meanwhile, violence continued. At least 12 Iraqis were killed today in a spate of bombings and shootings across the country, including three policemen killed in a car bombing in Al-Baquba, northeast of Baghdad. A car bomb also exploded near a crowded market in eastern Baghdad, killing one person and wounding six.
Five bodyguards of President Jalal Talabani were also wounded in a roadside bomb blast in northern Iraq. Talabani was not with them at the time.
(compiled from agency reports)