Iraq Begins Probe Into 'Unusually High' Vote Count
18 October 2005
Iraqi election officials are investigating what they say are "unusually high" numbers of "yes" votes in about 12 provinces from Saturday's referendum on a new constitution.
Election workers discovered the "yes" votes exceeded 90 percent in provinces that are either majority Shi'ite or Kurdish.
The two communities - which comprise the majority of Iraq's population - support the new constitution, while many minority Sunni Arabs oppose it.
Some Sunni Arab leaders have alleged fraud during the referendum.
Election officials say the investigation will delay the release of the final tally for a few days. Initial results suggested the U.S.-backed charter had been approved.
Meanwhile, the U.S. military says two American Marines and four insurgents were killed in fighting in western Iraq Monday.
Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.
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