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

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy 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.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid