Meanwhile, one of Iraq's top Sunni Arabs rejected a Shiite politician's declaration that there would be no substantive changes to the country's new constitution, calling that a divisive stance.
Brig. Gen. Donald Alston, spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition force, said a series of "horrific attacks" that killed at least 500 people since the Dec. 15 elections were an indication that insurgents were trying to take the opportunity of the transition to a new government to destabilize the democratic process.
"As democracy advances in the form of election results and government formation, and as the military pressure continues, and the pressure generated by political progress increases, we expect more violence across Iraq," he said at a news briefing.
Final election results are expected early next week.
In other developments:
Alston said that as a new government starts coming together, "those committed to seeing democracy fail will see this time of transition as an opportunity to attack the innocent people of Iraq."
He said the recent attacks were part of an "attempt to discredit and derail the progress of the Iraqi people"
At least 121 people died last week in twin suicide attacks against a Shiite shrine in the holy city of Karbala, and a police recruiting center in Ramadi. A day earlier, 32 people were killed by a suicide bomber at a Shiite funeral in Muqdadiyah. Another 29 died in a Monday attack against the Interior Ministry in Baghdad.
Sixteen U.S. troops died from hostile action, and eight died in a helicopter crash, the cause of which has yet to be determined.