Updated at 2:55 p.m. EST, Mar. 8, 2010
As predicted Iraq suffered a barrage attacks during the election day, particularly in Baghdad where scores of blasts were heard across the city. At least 55 Iraqis were killed and 157 more were wounded. U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates claimed he saw very little election-related violence, but the reports coming from Iraq itself indicate otherwise. Meanwhile, U.S. President Obama congratulated Iraqis on their national vote.
Despite the danger, Iraqis did go to the polls in droves, though early morning violence delayed many voters until late afternoon. The polls have already closed, but travel is still curtailed in many cities until tomorrow.
Due the massive number of attacks, some media outlets chose to combine casualty figures instead of listing them separately, making an accurate tallying more difficult than usual.
In Baghdad, police estimate that about 100 mortars were launched, and 35 bombs were detonated across Baghdad today.
Dynamite flattened two buildings in Ur, killing 25 people and wounding 20 others. Neighbors believe that bottom-floor storefronts were rented and then filled with explosives in both cases. Across the city in al-Shurta al Rabeaa, seven people were killed and 16 others were wounded in an I.E.D. blast that collapsed a third building.
A Katyusha rocket strike in Hurriya left four dead and six wounded. Nearby, a hand grenade wounded three people at a polling station. A second rocket fell in Kurayaat, killing one and injuring at least nine other people. Two people were killed and five others were wounded when an I.E.D. was detonated near the Tabari school in the Jihad neighborhood. Also, a policeman was killed in a bomb blast in northern Iraq.
Also, dozens of mortars rained on Baghdad. Mortar fire killed seven people and wounded at least nine people in unspecified areas of the city. Four people were wounded when a mortar struck Adhamiya. A mortar strike near a polling station in Dragh left three wounded. A journalist was wounded at a checkpoint in al-Tujar. Earlier, mortars wounded three in Ur. Three people were wounded by a mortar blast in Raghiba Katun. Twenty shells fell on Doura alone, but no casualties were reported.
In Mosul, gunmen threw a grenade at a Zahraa polling station, wounding seven people. A bomb at a Tank polling station wounded two soldiers. At least 10 others were wounded in another bomb attack at a polling station. One woman was killed and 17 people were wounded in other attacks. Four election observers were arrested for unknown reasons. Other blasts left no casualties.
Near Mosul, U.S. troops and Kurdish Peshmerga fighters opened fire on a convoy carrying a provincial council member. He and two guards were wounded in what was later described as a misunderstanding.
A local politician and eight companions were wounded in a shootout in Hamdaniya.
One person was killed and five others were wounded when a bomb exploded on a highway near Saidiya.
Two gunmen were killed as they were planting a bomb in Ali Asadi village.
A bomb in Yathrib wounded three people.
A series of I.E.D. blasts in Jalawla injured two people.
A mortar attack in Yusufiya left one dead.
A suspect was captured in Khanaqin.
Six suspects were detained in Hamrin.