February 4 Events in Iraq
With 35 % of votes counted, the United Iraqi Alliance of Ayatollah Sistani leads by a wide margin. Sistani leads with 67 % in southern Iraq after 3 million ballots were tallied. Iyad Allawi's slate is in second place, with 17,5 % of the vote. In third place is the National Independent Managers and Elite led by Fathallah Ghazi Ismaïl which obtained 1,3 % of the vote. The Peoples' Union (Communist Party) received 30 063 votes, the Islamic Action Party 24 247 votes while President Ghazi al-Yaouar slate came in sixth with 23 349 votes. The results pertain to the provinces of Bagdad, Babil, Al Basrah, Karbala, Maysan, Al Mouthanna, An Najaf, Al Qadissiyah, Dhi Qar and Wassit. The Kurdish vote tallies are not yet in.
Expat Iraqi vote. 265 000 expat ballots were cast: Results are: Sistani: 36,15 %; Kurds: 29,6 %; Allawi: 9,15 %; Christian parties 7 %.
19:20 Dubai. Ansar al Sunna says it executed 29 police. Ansar al Sunni claims credit for ambush on 50-man police convoy near Abu Ghraib.
18:27 Baghdad. Iraqi contractor killed. Iraqi contractor for US military killed in the capital.
17:35 Rome. Fini summons Iraqi ambassador. Italian Foreign Minister Fini summons Iraqi Ambassador Mohammed Al-Amili to discuss kidnapping of of Italian reporter Giuliana Sgrena.
17:21 Baiji. US soldier killed and seven others wounded by roadside bomb.
15:15 Baghdad. Journalist kidnapped and released. Ahmad Rafat, Baghdad correspondent for ADNKronos International, was kidnapped and held for 4 hours yesterday afternoon.
14:47 Baghdad. Sistani's slate leading in vote count.
13:53 Baghdad. Iraqi Interior Ministry confirms the kidnapping of Italian reporter Giuliana Sgrena in the al-Jadriya district of the capital, close to Baghad University. Sgrena works for the communist newspaper Il Manifesto. Four men drove up and forced Sgrena into their car. University security guards opened fire. Sgrena's entourage escaped and were taken away by US military personnel.
11:21 Baghdad. Insurgents attack Shi'ite mosque. Insurgents attack the Tawhid Mosque, frequented by Moqtada al Sadr.
08:45 Washington. Partial withdrawal of US troops. US to pull out 15 thousand troops.
06:46 Babil. US Marine killed.