Uniformed militants took advantage of advanced parliamentary voting today and attacked security forces waiting to cast votes. At least 84 people were killed and 164 more were wounded. The public votes on Wednesday, but expatriates began voting yesterday.
Iraq allows early voting for security personnel, so that they can focus on protecting the public during the main ballot casting. However, this practice leaves the police and soldiers vulnerable to suicide bombers, especially ones dressed in police or military garb. Several bombers were able to infiltrate voting queues this way. Also, another bomber was able to work his way into a crowd of civilians at a political rally in eastern Iraq.
Two policemen were killed and five more were wounded when a roadside bomb exploded near a polling station in Habaniya. Due to the security situation, voting in Anbar is limited. Residents are being allowed to vote in other provinces. Still, over 50 percent of eligible security personnel voted today in the province.
Shelling killed one civilian and wounded three more at a home in Falluja.
In Ramadi, three suicide bombers were killed as they targeted a polling station.
A suicide bomber killed over 30 people and wounded 50 more at a political rally at the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan offices in Khanaqin. He infiltrated a crowd that had gathered to watch Vice President Jalal Talabani casting a vote on television. Talabani, who is Kurdish, is recuperating in Germany after suffering a major stroke in 2012. The scene was quite chaotic afterwards, as hospitals became overwhelmed.
In Baghdad, a suicide bomber, dressed in a policeman’s uniform, struck a polling center in the Mansour district, where he killed six policemen and wounded 19 others. Seven soldiers were killed and 21 more were wounded when a suicide bomber in army attire struck an Adhamiya polling center.
Nine people were killed and at least 11 more were wounded when a uniformed suicide bomber attacked a polling station in Kirkuk. A bomb killed a civilian and wounded two more. A gunman was also killed.
In Mosul, two suicide bombers were killed during an attack on a polling center that also left five policemen with injuries. A bomb wounded six journalists on their way to cover the elections. Five policemen were wounded in a roadside bombing near a polling station. A bomber killed a colonel and wounded two other soldiers at a polling station. A uniformed suicide bomber was killed near another polling station.
Three policemen were killed and nine more were wounded at a polling center in Tuz Khormato when a suicide bomber dressed in a police uniform blew up his explosives.
In Arbil, three people were killed and a fourth was wounded during a home invasion.
A Sahwa member was shot dead in Albu Ajil.
A roadside bomb near a polling center in Saniya wounded three policemen.
Over a dozen people were wounded in Suleimaniya in celebratory gunfire that began after videos showed V.P. Talabani voting.
Read more by Margaret Griffis
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