[QODLink]
Middle East

Violence mars build-up to Iraq election

Dozens killed in attacks on polling stations as country prepares for first nationwide election since US forces withdrew.

Last updated: 29 Apr 2014 05:35
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Police and soldiers voted before civilians [Reuters]

Bombs at polling in Iraq have killed at least 62 people, as army and police personnel cast early votes in the first nationwide elections since the 2011 withdrawal of US forces.

At least 36 people were killed and 60 injured in the worst attack on Monday, a suicide bombing targeting Kurdish Peshmerga forces in Khanaquin, Diyala.

Seven policemen were killed in a suicide attack near a polling station in Kirkuk, while five died people and nine others were injured when a bomb was thrown into a polling station in El Mansour, western Baghdad.

The attacks happened as Iraqi army and police began voting two days before civilians. The plan will free up the security forces to protect polling stations.

More than 9,000 candidates are vying for 328 seats in parliament. An alliance led by the Shia prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, is expected to gain the most seats.

Hospital patients, medical staff and prisoners were also voting on Monday, as were Iraqis living abroad.

The biggest election-related violence so far came on Friday, when 37 people were killed in multiple explosion at a Baghdad election rally for a Shia political group led by the Iranian-backed Asaib Ahl al-Haq.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, a Sunni armed group, claimed it carried out the attack.

214

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Swathes of the British electorate continue to show discontent with all things European, including immigration.
Astronomers have captured images of primordial galaxies that helped light up the cosmos after the Big Bang.
Critics assail British photographer's portrayal of indigenous people, but he says he's highlighting their plight.
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
Featured
Remnants of deadly demonstrations to be displayed in a new museum, a year after protests pushed president out of power.
No one convicted after 58 people gunned down in cold blood in 2009 in the country's worst political mass killing.
While hosting the World Internet Conference, China tries Tiananmen activist for leaking 'state secrets' to US website.
Once staunchly anti-immigrant, some observers say the conservative US state could lead the way in documenting migrants.
NGOs say women without formal documentation are being imprisoned after giving birth in Malaysia.