Iraqi police: Najaf bombing kills three

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Sunday, March 7, 2010

Iraqi police officials say that a car bomb detonated in the holy city of Najaf and killed at least three and wounded 50. The blast came just a day before the country goes to vote in their parliamentary elections.

According to officials, the bomb was detonated near a bus carrying pilgrims. Two of the dead were from Iran while the other was from Iraq. Radwan al-Kindi, Director of the Najaf Health Department, confirmed the deaths.

The disaster occurred near the Imam Ali shrine, in Najaf, which Shia pilgrims from Iran and Iraq frequent. Najaf lies 100 miles (160 kilometers) south of Baghdad. The incident occurred despite the extra security measures in the country.

Several people have died in the prelude to Iraq's second parliamentary poll since Saddam Hussein was overthrown in 2003. 3000 people have been murdered last year in Baghdad alone. Officials from U.S. and Iraq have said that it is likely that insurgents would attempt to disrupt the elections with attacks.

14 people were murdered in bomb attacks at two polling stations where early voting was taking place, Thursday. Thousands of Iraqis who had been exiled have been voting before Sunday's main polling day.