News / Middle East

    Twin Bombings Rock Iraq on Election Eve

    VOA News
    Two bomb blasts in Iraq have killed at least 15 people, a day before the country holds its first general elections since U.S. troops withdrew in 2011.

    Tuesday's attacks took place at a market in the town of al-Saadiyah, about 140 kilometers northeast of Baghdad.  On Monday, insurgents targeting polling stations and political gatherings killed least 50 people in the Iraqi capital and areas north of the city.

    No one claimed responsibility for the attacks, but Sunni militants have been accused of similar acts in attempts to derail the political process.
     
    Iraq began early voting on Monday for those unable to cast ballots in Wednesday's parliamentary elections.  Analysts say voters will likely choose along sectarian and ethnic lines with no single party expected to win a majority.

    U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned violence targeting political leaders and candidates in Iraq.

    In a statement late Monday, he urged Iraqi leaders to make sure everyone is able to take part in the political process.

    Ban also praised Iraq's election commission for holding the elections on time, and called the vote "an important milestone in Iraq's democratic transition."
    • An elderly Iraqi woman shows her ink-stained finger after casting her vote, Baghdad, April 30, 2014. 
    • A member of Iraq's Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT) stands guard in front of a polling station in Baghdad, April 30, 2014.
    • Security forces search people outside a polling station in Habaniyah, near Fallujah, April 30, 2014.
    • Iraqi policemen stand guard near a polling station, Baghdad, April 30, 2014.
    • A group of men gesture with their ink-stained fingers after casting their ballots in the Iraqi parliamentary election, Najaf, ,April 30, 2014.
    • An Iraqi policeman inspects the site of a suicide attack at a polling center in Kirkuk, April 28, 2014.
    • Passengers in a taxi wave PUK (Patriotic Union of Kurdistan) flags, the party of President Jalal Talabani, before the country's parliamentary elections, Sulaimaniya, April 28, 2014.
    • A woman hails a taxi while standing under Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) campaign flags before Iraq's parliamentary elections, Sulaimaniya, April 28, 2014.
    • A detainee shows his inked finger after casting a vote at the polling center inside a prison in Irbil, April 28, 2014.
    • Observers for election candidates and their parties monitor the voting process as prisoners cast their ballots inside al-Rusafa prison during early voting for the parliamentary election, in Baghdad, April 28, 2014.
    • Kurdish security personnel display their ink-stained fingers after casting their votes at a polling station during early voting for the parliamentary election, Arbil, April 28, 2014.
    • Iraqi security forces stand in line to vote outside a polling center, Baghdad, April 28, 2014.




    Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

    You May Like

    US, Somalia Launch New Chapter in Relations

    US sends first ambassador to Somalia in 25 years; diplomatic presence and forces pulled out in 1993, after 18 US soldiers were killed when militiamen shot down military helicopter

    Brexit Vote Ripples Across South Asia

    Experts say exit is likely to have far-reaching economic, political and social implications for a region with deep historic ties to Britain

    Russian Military Tests Readiness With Snap Inspections

    Some observers see surprise drill as tit-for-tat response to NATO’s recent multinational military exercises in Baltic region

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Testing Bamboo as Building Materiali
    X
    June 27, 2016 9:06 PM
    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video New York Pride March A Celebration of Life, Mourning of Loss

    At this year’s march in New York marking the end of pride week, a record-breaking crowd of LGBT activists and allies marched down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, in what will be long remembered as a powerful display of solidarity and remembrance for the 49 victims killed two weeks ago in an Orlando gay nightclub.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapides’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora