News / Middle East

Bombings Ahead of Iraqi Elections Leave 31 Dead

Iraqi residents gather at the site of a car bomb attack in the Kamaliya district in Baghdad, April 15, 2013.
Iraqi residents gather at the site of a car bomb attack in the Kamaliya district in Baghdad, April 15, 2013.
VOA News
Iraqi officials said at least 31 people died Monday as bombs blew up in the capital and several other cities, leaving more than 200 people wounded.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks, which come as Iraqis prepare to vote in provincial elections on Saturday.  The vote is the first in Iraq since U.S. troops withdrew from the country in December 2011.

The election has already been postponed by several months in Anbar and Ninevah provinces because of security threats.

Ali Hussein, an eye witness who saw some of Monday's carnage in Baghdad, said, "So many explosions took place. Two car bombs exploded in the area of Riaasa and two others in Kamaliyah. What have those innocent people done to deserve this?"

  • A police officer inspects the aftermath of a car bomb attack at a used car dealer's parking lot in Habibiya, Baghdad, Iraq, April 16, 2013.
  • Men carry the coffin of a victim killed in one of April 15's bomb attacks, during a funeral in Najaf, Iraq.
  • Residents gather at the site of a car bomb attack in Baghdad, April 15, 2013.
  • Iraqi security personnel gather around the site of a bomb attack in Baghdad, April 15, 2013.
  • Civilians gather at the scene of a car bomb attack in east Baghdad, April 15, 2013.
  • A member of the Iraqi security forces inspects the site of a car bomb attack in Kirkuk, 250 km (155 miles) north of Baghdad, April 15, 2013.

In the town of Mussayab, northwest of Baghdad, witnesses were left with questions. One man said, "We were having breakfast when a car that was parked here, in front of the restaurant, exploded." He said some people were injured and many houses were damaged.

"What are we guilty of? We are just trying to earn a living, we just want to get on with our lives," he continued. "How long will we have to suffer? I don't know."

In Kirkuk, also rocked by deadly car bombings Monday, police commander, General Brigadier Anwar Qader expressed frustration.

"This morning a car bomb exploded near the office of a real estate agency, killing and wounding a number of people, we don't have the exact number of casualties yet," he said. "Despite the security measures in place, the terrorists conduct this kind of action and kill innocent people. ''

Iraq's Provincial Elections
 
  • Candidates running for seats in local councils in 14 of Iraq's 18 provinces
  • No vote scheduled for Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region
  • 16.2 million registered voters
  • More than 38,000 polling stations
  • Council members elected by proportional representation
  • Certain number of seats reserved for women
  • More than 8,000 candidates running, more than 2,000 are women
 
Source UNAMI
Security remains a big concern for Iraqi officials. On Saturday, members of the police and army cast early ballots so they can provide security when the rest of the country heads to the polls.

There have been a growing number of recent protests by Iraq's Sunni community against the Shi'ite-led government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.  

Anti-government protests in the mostly Sunni regions of western Iraq are entering their fourth month. Sunni activists want Maliki to step down.

Middle East analyst Jim Phillips with the Heritage Foundation said the onus is on Maliki to lessen tensions.

“The Shi'ite dominated Maliki government has put a premium on a sectarian agenda at the expense of minorities Sunni and some of the Kurdish factions in the north," he said. "And I think Prime Minister Maliki needs to reach out and bring non non-Shia political factions into his government in a more effective way.”

Sunni activists accuse the Shi'ite-led government of arbitrarily arresting Sunni opponents and holding them without charges.

You May Like

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid