Eight members of one Iraqi family, including three woman and two children, were killed Thursday when an old mine brought home by one of their children exploded inside their house, police said. The incident occurred in the morning in al-Bataha, a rural area near Nasiriyah, about 350 kilometres south of Baghdad, Ali Siwan, a police officer with the city's bomb disposal unit, told AFP.
One other family member was injured, he added. The explosive material is now being analysed to determine whether the mine was laid by the former Iraqi army or Italian troops who were deployed to Nasiriyah after the US-led invasion of 2003.
Meanwhile, Iraq on Thursday delayed its provincial elections due in October after MPs failed to agree the necessary legislation in time. "I can confirm to you that we have lost the chance to hold the elections in October," Qassem al-Aboudi, administrative director of Iraq's electoral commission, told AFP after a meeting with the United Nations.
Iraq was due to go to the polls on October but the long-awaited legislation that would govern the vote has faced repeated delays over the treatment of the northern oil province of Kirkuk.