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Bombings in Iraq Kill Dozens as Pre-Election Violence Continues

Common Dreams staff

A member of the Iraqi security forces inspects the site of a car bomb attack in Kirkuk, one of a series of attacks across the country. (Photograph: Stringer/Iraq/Reuters)

Pre-election violence continued in Iraq on Monday as a series of bombings left more than two dozen people dead and many more injured across the country.

Provincial elections will take place this Saturday, but ongoing shootings, bombings, and other forms of political violence have put a shadow over the polls.

The Associated Press reports:

A series of attacks across Iraq have killed 27 people and wounded more than 100, officials said.

The attacks, many involving car bombs, took place 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 safe.

And Reuters adds:

Iraqi violence has accompanied a long-running political crisis in the government that splits posts among Shi'ite, Sunni Muslim and ethnic Kurdish parties in an unwieldy, power-sharing coalition.

Critics dismiss Maliki, a former Arab-language teacher who spent many years in exile in Syria and Iran, as an autocrat who has failed to live up to power-sharing agreements. He threatens to form a majority government to end the deadlock. [...]

Ten years after the U.S.-led invasion, al Qaeda is regaining ground, especially in the western desert close to Syria's border, where it has benefited from the flow of Sunni fighters battling against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. [...]

Insurgents are also tapping into Sunni frustrations. Many Iraqi Sunnis feel sidelined since the overthrow of Saddam and the rise of the Shi'ite majority. Security experts say al Qaeda is seeking to use that as a recruiting tool among Sunnis who see themselves victimized by security forces.


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