(04 Mar 10 - RV) At least 17 people have been killed and dozens more injured in Iraq,
as a string of suicide attacks marred the first day of voting in parliamentary elections.
The early voting involves hundreds of thousands of government
employees, the sick and prisoners.
Tomorrow it will be the turn of Iraqis
The outcome of the election, Iraq's second national vote
for a full four-year parliament since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion, will test stability
in a divided country as U.S. troops depart.
Mons. Philip Najeem is the
Apostolic Procurator for Chaldean Catholics. He says that Iraqis inside and outside
the country hope the election will bring unity, and help insure that the rights of
Christians and other minorities will be protected.