World News

Iraq Bombings Kill 15 on Eve of Elections

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.

Mr. 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."

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