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

Tunnel Bombs Highlight Savagery of Aleppo Fight

Rebels have used tunneling tactic near government buildings, command posts or supply routes to set off explosives; they detonated their largest bomb this week under Syria's intelligence headquarters More

Sierra Leone Launches New Initiative to Stop Ebola Spread

Government hopes Infection and Prevention Control Units, IPC, will help protect patients and healthcare workers More

UN Official: Fight Against Terrorism Must Not Violate Human Rights

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights says efforts by states to combat terrorism are resulting in large scale rights violations against the very citizens they claim to defend 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.
Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boyi
X
Jeff Seldin
March 05, 2015 2:36 AM
A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Volunteer Gauge-Watchers Help Fine-Tune Weather Science

An observation system called CoCoRaHS is working to improve weather science, thanks to thousands of volunteers across the country who measure precipitation in their own backyards, then share their data through the Internet. VOA's Shelley Schlender reports.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video African Americans Recall 1960s Fight For Voting Rights

U.S. President Barack Obama and thousands of people will gather in the small southern U.S. city of Selma, Alabama, Saturday, March 7 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a historic voting rights march that became known as “Bloody Sunday." VOA’s Chris Simkins traveled to Alabama and introduces us to some of the foot soldiers of the voting rights struggles of the 1960s.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More