10 Iraqi guards killed in northern ballot center by gunmen
Unidentified militant gunmen dressed in military garb killed 10 Iraqi guards when they stormed a balloting center in an overnight attack in the country's north, a senior police official said Tuesday.
An unknown number of militants showed up at the Daqouq village polling center, which is just outside the northern city of Kirkuk, late on Monday evening, deputy police chief Maj. Gen. Torhan Abdul-Rahman Youssef told the Associated Press (AP).
Youssef said the gunmen, who had dressed up in military uniforms, told the guards at the ballot center they were there to enact a search but in reality, they shot and killed the 10 guards, eight of whom were residents of Daqouq village, according to AP.
Daqouq is located about 260 kilometers (162 miles) north of the capital, Baghdad.
The attack on the ballot center comes less than two weeks before Iraq's crucial parliament elections on April 30 and amid unsuccessful attempts by the Shiite-led government to stop sectarian violence and bloodshed engulfing the restive country. More than 9,000 candidates are taking part in the elections and will vie for 328 seats in parliament, according to AP. Currently, Iraq is witnessing levels of violence not seen since the country almost fell into civil war in 2006.
The ongoing violence across Iraq has led to a cancellation of balloting in parts of the Sunni-dominated Anbar province, which is currently embroiled in clashes between state security forces and Al Qaeda-linked militants.