At least 29 dead after bombings in Iraq

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Thursday, March 4, 2010

Three suicide bombers in the Iraqi city of Baquba, the capital of the Diyala Governorate, killed at least 29 people earlier today, according to reports, although the Associated Press puts the number at 32.

According to Captain Ghalib al-Karkhi, the explosions targeted the provincial headquarters, a hospital, and the Iraqi army.

One of the explosions occurred at the headquarters of police, the second near a police checkpoint; a third bomb blew up at the Baquba general hospital. A fourth bomb was later detonated by officials without incident about two hundred metres away from the hospital.

Fakhri al-Obaidi, thespokesman of the Diyala provincial council in Baquba, commented on the incidents. "These attacks aim to terrify people from going to polling stations. But I am sure that people will insist on voting," as quoted by the Associated Press.

Mahmoud Fadil, aged 50, was a witness to one of the bombings. "I saw others covered with blood lying on the ground and some crying because of wounds caused by shrapnel and the huge blast," he said, noting that the blast was strong enough to lift him up into the air.

The attacks come several days before Iraqi parliamentary elections are due on March 7. The explosions were the deadliest bombings in the country since February 1, when a suicide bomber in Baghdad killed 54 people.