[QODLink]
Middle East

Series of deadly car bombs hits Iraqi capital

At least 18 people killed and dozens wounded in attacks targeting mostly Shia neighbourhoods of Baghdad, say officials.

Last updated: 09 Apr 2014 20:35
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

Car bombs have hit several mostly Shia neighbourhoods of the Iraqi capital and other areas across the country, killing at least 18 people and wounding dozens, officials said.

Wednesday's attacks are the latest bout of violence ahead of the country's first parliament elections since the 2011 US troop withdrawal.

The explosions also coincided with the anniversary of the 2003 fall of Baghdad in the hands of US troops.

Earlier in the day, a car bomb in Baghdad's central Nidhal Street killed four people and wounded 11, while three people died and nine were wounded in a car bombing in the northern Kadhimiyah district, the AP news agency reported.

Car bombs also exploded in the areas of Shaab, Shammaiya, Karrada and Maamil, killing a total of seven people and wounding 30, police officials added.

Later on Wednesday, three more civilians died and eight were wounded when another car bomb struck Baghdad's central upscale commercial area of Jadiriyah.

In the Saba al-Bur area north of Baghdad, two mortar rounds killed at least one person and wounded at least five.

Medical officials confirmed the causality figures.

Violence has surged in Iraq since last year, with the country weathering its deadliest bout of violence since it pulled back from the brink of civil war in 2008.

UN figures showed that last year, Iraq saw the highest death toll in attacks, with 8,868 people killed.

Too dangerous to vote

Wednesday's attacks came as Iraq is heading towards a crucial election on April 30, its first vote since the 2011 US troop pullout.

More than 9,000 candidates will vie for 328 seats in parliament but there will be no balloting in parts of the western, Sunni-dominated Anbar province engulfed in clashes between security forces and al-Qaeda-inspired fighters.

On Tuesday, the country's Independent High Electoral Commission said those areas were too dangerous for the vote to take place.

Since late December, Anbar province has seen fierce fighting between government troops and allied tribal fighters on one side, and fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, an al-Qaeda spin-off group, on the other.

348

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Featured on Al Jazeera
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Tokyo government claims its homeless population has hit a record low, but analysts - and the homeless - beg to differ.
3D printers can cheaply construct homes and could soon be deployed to help victims of catastrophe rebuild their lives.
Featured
Pro-Russia leaders' election in Ukraine's east shows bloody conflict is far from a peaceful resolution.
Critics challenge Canberra's move to refuse visas for West Africans in Ebola-besieged countries.
A key issue for Hispanics is the estimated 11.3 million immigrants in the US without papers who face deportation.
In 1970, only two mosques existed in the country, but now more than 200 offer sanctuary to Japan's Muslims.
Hundreds of the country's reporters eke out a living by finding news - then burying it for a price.