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.


Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Anti-government secrecy organisation struggling for relevance without Julian Assange at the helm.
After decades of overfishing, Japan is taking aim at increasing the number of bluefin tuna in the ocean.
Chinese scientists are designing a particle-smashing collider so massive it could encircle a city.
Critics say the government is going full-steam ahead on economic recovery at the expense of human rights.
Spirits are high in Scotland's 'Whisky Capital of the World' with one distillery thirsty for independence.
join our mailing list