Twelve people were killed and 22 wounded by an explosion near an empty polling station in Baghdad as police and others qualified to vote early take part in Iraq’s second national election for a full-term parliament. Reports conflicted over whether the cause was a roadside bomb or a rocket. The election poses a major test of Iraq’s security forces, but the Pentagon said Wednesday that conditions there would have to be “extraordinarily dire” for the U.S. to reconsider the plan to pull all 96,000 combat troops out by August, and all forces out by the end of the year. Tight security measures are in place, and foreign oil firms are watching the proceedings closely as they begin to invest in Iraq’s oil fields.
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