Serial Blasts In Iraq Kill Dozens

Iraq

33 people have been killed and over 160 wounded in a wave of bombings across Iraq, just days before the country’s first elections since US troops withdrew, officials have said.

Several people were on Monday killed in Baghdad in bombings reported by police officers, in the western city of Fallujah, the contested northern city of Kirkuk and towns south of the capital.

Officials said late on Monday that a total of 14 car bombs and three roadside bombs struck seven cities including Baghdad, adding that vehicles packed with explosives were detonated in the northern disputed cities of Kirkuk and Tuz Khurmatu, the central city of Samarra, and the cities of Hilla and Nassriyah south of Baghdad.

The attacks come less than a week before Iraqis in much of the country are scheduled to vote in the country’s first elections since the 2011 US troop withdrawal. The vote will be a key test of security forces’ ability to keep voters and the country safe.

An estimated 16.2 million Iraqis are eligible to vote, among them about 650,000 members of the security forces.

Although security has markedly improved since the height of Iraq’s confessional conflict in 2006-2007, 271 people were killed in March, making it the deadliest month since August, according to AFP figures.

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