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Bombs kill 5 at house tied to Iraq Sunni candidate

BAGHDAD - Several bombs exploded yesterday near a house linked to a prominent Sunni figure who ran in this month's parliamentary elections in Iraq, killing five people and wounding 26 others, a police official said.

The attack adds to fears of post-election violence as the bitter election rivals enter what are expected to be drawn-out talks on forming the government that will rule Iraq as U.S. troops leave by the end of 2011.

The blasts took place in Qaim, 200 miles west of Baghdad and on the border with Syria, the official said. The first bomb, planted at a house under construction, went off at 7 a.m. As onlookers gathered, four more bombs hidden in trash around the site detonated, causing the casualties.

The official said the house belongs to a brother of Sheik Murdhi Muhammad al-Mahalawi, a Sunni candidate who ran on the Iraqiya list led by former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, the top vote-getter March 7.

Neither al-Mahalawi's brother nor any construction workers were at the site when the bombs went off, said the official. A family member said two of al-Mahalawi's cousins, who live next door, died in the blasts. - AP

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