33 killed in Iraq bombings days before electionsMarch 4th, 2010 - 2:33 am ICT by IANS
Baghdad, March 4 (DPA) The Iraqi city of Baquba was hit by four bomb blasts Wednesday, police said - including one targeting ambulances carrying the wounded from the two earlier attacks.
Police and medics told DPA that the attacks, which came amid a spike in violence ahead of Iraq’s March 7 parliamentary elections, killed at least 33 people and injured 58 more.
The first two car bombings had targeted a police station and a car park in the city centre, not far from the seat of the provincial government, police said.
A man then detonated explosives strapped to his body in Baquba’s main hospital as ambulances arrived carrying the wounded from those blasts, police said, adding that the bomber had infiltrated the hospital by wearing a police uniform.
Soon after, police found another car bomb near a police checkpoint in the city. Security officials cleared the area before it exploded, police told DPA.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, but the Islamic State of Iraq, an umbrella group encompassing Sunni Muslim insurgent groups including the Iraqi branch of Al Qaeda, has vowed to disrupt the elections with “military” and “propaganda operations.”
Further to the north, near Tikrit, famous for being the home region of former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein, police said they had arrested 30 men wanted on suspicion of plotting attacks ahead of the elections.
Baquba, some 60 km north-east of Baghdad, is the capital of Diyala province, which lies on the border with Iran. The province has been the site of attacks against Iranian pilgrims visiting Iraq, and of an uneasy standoff between Kurdish militias in the north of the province and forces from Iraq’s central government in Baghdad.
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Tags: ambulances, bomb blasts, car bomb, car bombings, city security, government police, insurgent groups, iraq bombings, iraqi city, iraqi president, islamic state of iraq, parliamentary elections, police checkpoint, police uniform, president saddam, propaganda operations, provincial government, security officials, sunni muslim, umbrella group