Iraq Awaits

Violence has preceded this weekend's election which will establish a four-year parliamentary-style government in Iraq under monitoring from 120 international officials.

Violence has preceded this weekend's election which will establish a four-year parliamentary-style government in Iraq under monitoring from 120 international officials. "At least three people have been killed in the holy city of Najaf after a car bomb exploded a day before Iraq's parliamentary elections, police say. Saturday's blast gutted two buses parked at a garage near the revered Imam Ali shrine, which draws millions of Shia worshippers from Iraq and Iran each year. Anita MacNaught, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Baghdad, said three people had been killed, while medical officials in Najaf put the toll at one dead and eight wounded. 'Two of the dead were Iranian pilgrims. The casualty figures at this stage - we have 54 injured and, again, mixed: Iranian and Iraq,' she said. 'The bomb was in a car park some 500km from the Imam Ali shrine. As far as we are aware, the Imam Ali shrine itself has not been damaged in any sense. One of the reasons the bomb was so far away was because of the protective cordon around the site."

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