Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Car bombs in Iraqi city Baquba kill more than 30
At least 30 people have been killed and 42 more wounded after three powerful co-ordinated suicide attacks in the central Iraqi city of Baquba. Just days before parliamentary elections are due to be held, attackers targeted a government building, a nearby traffic intersection and, later, the hospital where the wounded were being treated.
The attacks, coming despite heightened security across the country ahead of Sunday's vote, were the deadliest to hit Iraq in nearly a month.Two near-simultaneous suicide vehicle bombs hit the city's provincial housing department's offices and a nearby intersection at around 930am (0630 GMT) while a third person later blew himself up at Baquba's main hospital. "The suicide bomber tried to blow himself up against the police chief when he came to see the wounded in the hospital," a secutity official from Baquba said.
Major General Abdul Hussein al-Shimmari, the police chief, escaped unharmed but a number of his personal security team were wounded.
The first vehicle crashed through the entrance to the provincial housing department's compound, which sits next to a police station, before exploding. Moments later, at a nearby traffic intersection, a suicide bomber detonated explosives packed into his vehicle, triggering a powerful blast.
The hospital bombing occurred a short time later.
Iraq is going to the polls on Sunday 7 March for the second parliamentary elections since the deposition of Saddam Hussein in 2003. A number of candidates (among them some important Sunni representatives) have been excluded from taking part because of alleged ties with the former Ba'ath-party. The exclusion has heightened tensions, mainly among the Sunni population, which considers itself to be in a minority position in present day Iraq,.where the force mainly is in the hands of Kurds and Shiites.