Suicide bomber kills 30 in eastern Iraq

Suicide bomber kills 30 in eastern Iraq
Mon Apr 28, 2014 22:49:09

30 people have been killed and 50 wounded as a suicide bomber blew himself up amid a group of supporters of Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, security and medical officials said.

The victims had gathered in the mostly-Kurdish town of Khanaqin on Monday to celebrate the release of a video purportedly showing the ailing Talabani, a Kurdish leader, voting in Germany, where he is receiving treatment for a stroke, ahead of a parliamentary election on Wednesday.

Khanaqin lies within a swathe of disputed territory that Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region wants to incorporate over the objections of Baghdad.

Militants frequently capitalize on poor communication between Kurdish and Arab security forces in the disputed areas to carry out attacks.

Khanaqin and nearby Saadiyah have previously been targeted by attacks.

Iraq is embroiled in its worst protracted period of bloodshed in years, with nearly 3,000 people killed already this year.

The vote is Iraq’s first parliamentary elections since US forces withdrew in 2011 and is a major test for the security forces. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is hoping to win a third term.

Meanwhile, Takfiri groups, including the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), are reportedly coming to Iraq from neighboring Syria and Saudi Arabia to undermine security in the country.

The government in Baghdad has blamed Riyadh for the Iraq chaos, saying Saudi Arabia is funding and arming militants fighting against Iraqi forces in the country’s western areas, including Anbar Province.


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