Deadly attacks on Monday, including a spate of suicide bombings, killed 57 soldiers and policemen as they cast their ballots ahead of Iraq’s first election since US occupation troops withdrew.
Deadly attacks on Monday, including a spate of suicide bombings, killed 57 soldiers and policemen as they cast their ballots ahead of Iraq's first election since US occupation troops withdrew.
Nine attackers wearing suicide belts mostly targeted polling stations in Baghdad and cities north of the capital, while roadside bombs struck military convoys and targeted journalists covering the election.
The deadliest attack struck northeast of Baghdad in the mostly-Kurdish town of Khanaqin, near Iraq's border with Iran.
A suicide bomber killed 30 people who had gathered to celebrate the release of a video purporting to show ailing President Jalal Talabani casting his vote in Germany, where he is receiving treatment for a stroke.
At least 50 others were wounded in the attack, which struck near the offices of Talabani's Patriotic Union of Kurdistan in the town.
Two suicide bombers also struck the capital.
At one polling station in west Baghdad where a militant armed with an explosives-rigged vest killed seven policemen, ambulances ferried off the wounded as soldiers cordoned off the street, an AFP journalist reported.
Five members of the security forces were killed by another suicide bomber at a polling station in the city's north.
Attacks elsewhere in the country killed 15 members of the security forces, officials said. Overall, more than 120 people were wounded in the bloodshed.
In the main northern city of Mosul, six Iraqi journalists were wounded as a bomb exploded while they were in a military vehicle to cover the vote.
The blasts shattered an early morning calm as soldiers and policemen queued outside polling stations amid tight security, before leaving with the traditional purple ink-stained finger indicating they had voted.
The blasts shattered an early morning calm, when soldiers and policemen had queued outside voting centres amid tight security across Baghdad and around the country as polls opened, leaving with the traditional purple ink-stained finger indicating they had voted.