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Assyrian Christians Say Kurds Wouldn't Let Them Vote

NEW YORK (AP) -- Some Iraqi Christians say their kinsmen in Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq weren't allowed to vote in Sunday's election. Simon George, co-director of an Assyrian satellite television station, says he received "at least 100 calls" from Assyrians complaining about being deprived of the vote in Christian villages around Mosul (MOH'-sul). He says Assyrian Christians were promised ballot boxes that didn't arrive.

George said he was told that in the Assyrian villages, Kurds "stopped all the elections."

In New York, the Reverend Ken Joseph Junior said he's received similar reports from his fellow Assyrian Christians, and has asked that those villages be given an extra day to cast ballots.

Joseph says he's also concerned that Iranians may have crossed the border to inflate the vote for Shiite (SHEE'-eyet) parties. He says most Assyrians and other Iraqis want a secular government.

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