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U.S. Says Iraq Troop Pullout On Schedule After Vote

U.S. General Ray Odierno
The top U.S. general in Iraq said today the country's national election was a milestone on the way to a full pullout of U.S. combat troops as planned.

The timetable calls for all U.S. troops to be out by the end of 2011.

"Despite the initial intimidation attempts in the morning, the Iraqi people refused to be deterred by this intimidation," General Ray Odierno said in Baghdad. "The Iraqi people then showed strong support for the political process, which we said for a very long time is the best way to combat any terrorist activity here inside of Iraq."

The parliamentary elections on March 7 took place amid a wave of attacks -- some of them directly on voters and polling stations -- that killed 36 people.

Some 6,200 candidates competed for 325 parliamentary seats. Iraq's election commission said final results would be released within a few days, most likely on March 11.

The turnout was 62 percent of about 19 million eligible voters.

compiled from agency reports