Updated at 8:39 p.m. EST, Mar. 3, 2010
Diyala province was the scene of at least two attacks today, one massive. Overall, 38 Iraqis were killed and 75 more were wounded there and across Iraq. The attacks in Baquba and nearby Saidiya could be part of a campaign to undermine Sunday’s election.
A triple suicide attack killed 33 Iraqis and wounded 55 more in Baquba. The first suicide bomber detonated a car bomb parked next to a housing office and army facility, while the second exploded his car bomb 200 yards away, near the provincial government headquarters. At least 12 policemen were among the dead. The third bomber, possibly wearing a police uniform, was transported via ambulance to the hospital where the victims of the first two blasts were taken. It was inside the hospital where he detonated his explosives vest. A third car bomb was discovered and safely disarmed. Four suspected accomplices were among eight men arrested in Diyala province today.
Near Baquba in Saidiya, gunmen blew up a home belonging to a Patriotic Union of Kurdistan official. Shakir Sultan, his wife and a son were wounded. Although Diyala has quieted down since the height of sectarian violence, parts of the province include contested Kurdish areas.
In Baghdad, two people were wounded when a roadside bomb exploded in Muwasalat. A U.S. Hummer struck a roadside bomb in Doura, but no casualties were reported. Officials released 120 detainees from Rasafa prison after they were cleared of all charges. Baghdad Operations Command found 27 shells and ten other explosive charges.
In Mosul, a mosque imam was gunned down. Mortars fell in a residential area and wounded three people. Six people were wounded when a hand grenade was thrown at a checkpoint. Four people suspected of carrying out attacks on Christians were arrested.
A bomb just north of Baghdad in Taji killed an Iraqi soldier and wounded four others.
A sticky bomb left on a car in Hamdaniya killed a policeman.
In Touz Khormato, a bomb targeting a police convoy wounded two guards.
Thirty suspects were captured across Salah ad Din province.
Babel police arrested 33 people for distributing anti-election leaflets. Under orders from P.M. Maliki, the group was turned over to authorities directly under him.
Approximately 14,000 security personnel protecting the polls are on duty in Muthanna province.
In Karbala, over 17,000 supervisors and 100 journalists arrived to observe Sunday’s election.
About 70,000 voters, including prisoners and patients, will participate in special polling in Basra province.
Read more by Margaret Griffis
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