Gunmen ambush electoral officials in southern Iraq

BAGHDAD (AP) -- Masked gunmen have killed two men during an ambush of a bus carrying electoral officials in southern Iraq.

The attackers opened fire from a passing car south of Basra. The area has seen bitter infighting among Shiite factions before a U.S.-backed Iraqi military operation curbed violence earlier this year.

Two top members of a local committee preparing for provincial elections were killed. The upcoming elections are expected to redistribute power among Iraq's political and ethnic groups.

Also today, mourners in Baghdad are grieving the death of an official in a group of U.S.-allied Sunni fighters who was killed by a suicide bomber yesterday.

Iraqi officials say nine other people were killed and at least 20 hurt in the blast.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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