Bomber hits Iraq checkpoint

At least 11 killed, including police and a young girl, in city of Ramadi.

    Thursday's bombing comes ahead of national
    elections scheduled for March 7 [AFP]

    Thursday's attack came less than three weeks before a nationwide poll on March 7, which would be only the second parliamentary election held since the 2003 US-led invasion.

    Mohammed Dulaimi, the owner of a restaurant that was badly damaged in the blast, said the attackers were "trying to undermine the political process and prevent us from taking part in the election".

    "They want us to miss the opportunity to vote, as we did before," he said, referring to a boycott of 2005 general elections by Sunni-led political parties.

    Anbar province was considered a stronghold of anti-government fighters in 2005 and 2006, but support for them apparently dried up following civilian deaths and after US and Iraqi authorities forged alliances with Sunni tribal leaders to form so-called Awakening councils.

    Next month's poll is being seen as a crucial test for the country, and for reconciliation between Sunni and Shia factions, after more than seven years of bloodshed and sectarian strife.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    The woman who cleans up after 'lonely deaths' in Japan

    The woman who cleans up after 'lonely deaths' in Japan

    When somebody dies lonely and alone, Miyu Kojima steps in to clean their home and organise the mementos of their life.

    Putin and the 'triumph of Christianity' in Russia

    Putin and the 'triumph of Christianity' in Russia

    The rise of the Orthodox Church in Russia appears unstoppable, write filmmakers Glen Ellis and Viktoryia Kolchyna who went to investigate the close ties between the church and Putin.

    The chill effect: Is India's media running scared?

    The chill effect: Is India's media running scared?

    Much of India's media spurns a scoop about the son of PM Modi's right-hand man. Plus, NFL as platform for race politics.