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Iraqi lawmakers rethink pricey armored car perk
Facing backlash, Iraqi lawmakers reconsider buying armored cars with public funds
By The Associated Press

BAGHDAD (AP) ' Iraqi lawmakers are reconsidering buying pricey armored cars for themselves with government money, after bitter criticism from a largely poor and unprotected public.

The decision to spend $50 million on 350 armored cars was included in the $100 billion budget for 2012 that parliament approved late last week.

Since then, the subject of the cars has infuriated Iraqis who believe they have little say or influence in the government.

Some lawmakers agreed on Wednesday with a plea by parliament speaker, Osama al-Nujaifi, to give up the cars and instead spend the money on what he described as "more important" issues.

Violence has dropped dramatically across Iraq but deadly bombings and shootings are still common. Six people were killed Wednesday in bombings in two Iraqi cities.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

BAGHDAD (AP) ' Iraqi officials say a car bomb on a main street in a shopping area in southeastern Baghdad has killed four people.

Police officials say the explosion during rush hour Wednesday morning also wounded nine other passers-by and damaged storefronts. Hospital officials confirmed the casualties. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release the information.

Violence has dropped dramatically across Iraq from just five years ago when the country teetered on the brink of civil war. But deadly bombs and shootings still happen nearly every day as militants try to undermine public confidence in Iraqi's government and security officials.

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