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Sunday, March 7, 2010
By Steven L. Taylor

Via the NYTExplosions Hit Baghdad as Iraqis Vote in Pivotal Election

A concerted wave of attacks struck Baghdad and other cities across the country on Sunday as Iraqis began voting to elect a new Parliament and possibly a new prime minister. Explosions reverberated across the capital even before the polls opened and continued through the morning haze for the first hours of voting.

Insurgents in Iraq had vowed to disrupt the election, and the attacks appeared timed to frighten voters away from polling sites. Mortars fell in neighborhoods across Baghdad, including at least three in the Green Zone, where government ministries and embassies are clustered, while bombs exploded elsewhere. Two bombs struck apartment buildings, destroying them.

At least 24 people were killed and at least 55 were wounded, according to the Ministry of the Interior.

The BBC reports, Iraq parliamentary election hit by insurgent attacks:  “Two buildings were destroyed in the capital and dozens of mortars were fired across Baghdad and elsewhere.”

Not an auspicious start to election day—one, by the way, where the Iraqis (not the Americans) are in charge of security for the first time.

Granted, a full assessment can’t be made at the moment, but these attack suggest a more active and organized insurgency than statements made by the administration (and by the press) would have suggested.   By the same token, too much can be made of one day and one set of attacks.

More on the elections themselves later.

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Filed under: Elections, Iraq | |
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