A militant group in Iraq that has claimed responsibility for several kidnappings and murders has threatened attacks during nationwide elections scheduled for January.
In a statement on its website, the so-called Army of Ansar al-Sunna warned voters and candidates not to participate in the election because it has US backing.
In a separate development, leaders from 14 political parties representing Iraq's Shi'ites, Sunnis and Kurds met earlier on Thursday to discuss the January poll.
Kurdish leaders asked that municipal elections be postponed in the northern oil hub of Kirkuk until the situation there is "normalized." They define normal as the return and compensation of Kurds displaced by ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.