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Many Killed In Iraq Bombings

The Shi'ite mosque after the bombing 6 October 2005 -- Over 35 people have been killed in a number of blasts in Iraq, including at least 25 people in a bomb attack at a Shi'ite mosque in Al-Hillah, south of Baghdad.

The attack yesterday evening came as Shi'ites were celebrating the start of the holy month of Ramadan.

Meanwhile, Iraqi authorities say a suicide bomber in a car blew himself up near the Oil Ministry in Baghdad today, killing at least 10 people and wounding eight. Police said the blast took place at a parking lot.

And a car driven by a suicide bomber exploded today near a U.S. military convoy in eastern Baghdad. Initial reports said an Iraqi bystander was killed and several others injured.

In other developments, hopes have been raised for Sunni Arab participation in Iraq's 15 October constitutional referendum after the Shi'ite-dominated Iraqi parliament reversed controversial election rules that would have made it harder for Sunnis to reject the document.

Sunni politicians are quoted as reacting positively to the reversal, but some warned they may still urge a boycott of the referendum.

In Washington, U.S. President George W. Bush praised what he called the increasing participation of U.S.-trained Iraqi troops in antiinsurgent military operations.

Bush also welcomed what he called "political progress" in advance of the constitutional referendum.

"On the one hand, we're making progress when it comes to training Iraqis to take the fight to the enemy, we're bringing the enemy to justice, we're on the offense. On the other hand, democracy is moving forward in a part of the world that is so desperate for democracy," Bush said.

White House officials said Bush is expected to respond to criticisms of the situation in Iraq in a speech later today in Washington.


See also:

Iraqi Parliament U-Turns On Referendum Change

More news and analysis on Iraq

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