Iraq: Attacks reported on polling stations as at least 12 dead in various incidents
At least 11 Iraqis and one U.S. Marine were killed Thursday in fresh wave of attacks three days before national elections. Another U.S. soldier died in an accident.
The Marine was killed and five others injured when resistance fighters launched mortars at their base near Iskandariyah, south of Baghdad. Australian officials announced that one of two car bombing on Baghdad's dangerous airport road Wednesday had injured eight Australian troops riding in a convoy escorting Australian government officials.
Three Iraqi civilians were killed Thursday in a house in Samarra, 100 kms north of Baghdad, when a car bomb exploded nearby, said Alaadin Mohammed, a doctor at the local hospital.
Another three Iraqis died and seven wounded when a roadside bomb missed a U.S. convoy in Mahmoudiya, 40 kms south of Baghdad, according to the area's hospital director, Dawoud al-Taie.
Also in Samarra, armed men destroyed a local school administration building on Thursday morning after first ordering the staff to leave, said police Lt. Qassim Mohammed. According to The AP, the building had been scheduled to be a voting center in Sunday's elections.
Sporadic clashes also erupted in Samarra between U.S. occupation forces and armed men, killing one Iraqi civilian and injuring another, Mohammed said.
In Ramadi, west of Baghdad, another Iraqi National Guard soldier was killed when resistance fighters attacked a joint U.S.-Iraqi force guarding a voting center at a school, said police Lt. Safa al-Obeidi.
New bomb attacks reported Thursday in the northern Iraq city of Kirkuk, targeting a US military convoy and three polling stations. Elsewhere, a police officer was killed in the city of Tikrit, police said. The attacks came three days ahead of Iraq’s national election and one day after 37 US troops died in the country.
No casualties were immediately reported in Kirkuk.
General Sarhad Kader of the Iraqi police said one bomb exploded at 8:10 am (0510 GMT) near the Kirkuk police academy as a US military convoy was passing. According to AFP, he said there were no casualties nor serious damage.
One polling station was bombed about 10 kilometers north of Kirkuk and two in the east of the city were also attacked.
The general conveyed two civilians were injured on Wednesday night by mortar rounds that landed near a police station at Kaza, about 10 kilometers south of the city.
Further south in Tikrit, a bomb went off in front of a police car on Wednesday night, killing one policeman and wounding another, police said.
Reuters reported Thursday that a car bomb detonated near the governor's offices in the Iraqi town of Baquba, killing at least one person.
Also in Baqouba, the body of a colonel in the former Iraqi intelligence during Saddam Hussein's era, Talib Minshid, was found in the city, according to a Baqouba hospital official, Mohammed Ali. Minshid had been abducted by armed men two days ago.
Meanwhile, two voting centers were bombed near the Iraqi city of Fallujah on late Wednesday, 12 hours after they were opened, witnesses said Thursday. "US troops opened two voting centers in Ameriyat al-Fallujah, some 7 km southwest of Fallujah. The two centers were nothing but two shops which were detonated 12 hours after being opened," the witnesses told Xinhua.