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

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    Prince Philip has done the world an extraordinary service by exposing the racist hypocrisy of "Western civilisation".

    China will determine the future of Venezuela

    China will determine the future of Venezuela

    There are a number of reasons why Beijing continues to back Maduro's government despite suffering financial losses.