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Suiciders kill 125 civilians, 5 American Gls
(AP)
Updated: 2006-01-06 06:54

Suicide bombers targeted Shiite pilgrims in the south and police recruits in central Iraq, and a roadside bomb killed five U.S. soldiers, bringing Thursday's death toll to at least 130 people in a series of attacks as politicians tried to form a coalition government.

The two-day toll from insurgent attacks rose to 183, reflecting a dramatic upsurge in bloodshed following the Dec. 15 parliamentary elections. Some leading Sunni politicians accuse the Shiite-led government of condoning fraud in the voting.

Suicide bombers targeted Shiite pilgrims in the south and police recruits in central Iraq, and a roadside bomb killed five U.S. soldiers, bringing Thursday's death toll to at least 130 people in a series of attacks as politicians tried to form a coalition government.
An injured victim is comforted at the Ramadi hospital after a suicide bomber attack, Thursday, Jan. 5, 2006, in Ramadi, Iraq. [AP]

Iraq's prime minister denounced the violence as an attempt to derail the political process at a time when progress was being made toward including the Sunnis in a new, broad-based government and thereby weakening the Sunni-led insurgency.

But Iraq's largest Shiite party, the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, blamed the violence on Sunni Arab groups that fared poorly in the elections. SCIRI warned that Shiite patience was wearing thin, and it accused the U.S.-led coalition forces of restraining the Iraqi army and its police forces.

Thursday's death toll the largest single-day total since Sept. 29, when 162 died, and one of the bloodiest days in the three-year insurgency included five American soldiers killed by a roadside bomb while patrolling the Baghdad area, the U.S. military said.

Earlier, Iraqi police Capt. Rahim Slaho said the U.S. convoy was heading for the Shiite holy city of Karbala when it was attacked 15 miles south of the city, and five soldiers were killed.

At least 2,188 members of the U.S. military have died since the war began, according to an Associated Press count.
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