Co-ordinated Suicide Bombings Kill at Least 33 in Diyala Provice
Officials have estimated that at least 33 people were killed and another 55 wounded in three coordinated suicide bombings in Iraq’s Diyala Provice on Wednesday, four days before parliamentary elections are to be held. Within minutes, three separate bombings had occurred which targeted an Iraqi police station, the main provincial building, and a hospital, in sequence. The latter attack was perpetrated as the wounded and bystanders attempted to access the hospital in response to their injuries. Al-Qaeda’s leader in Iraq, Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, had previously stated that he intended to unsettle and obstruct the upcoming elections by “military means.” The UN’s envoy to Iraq has indicated that, despite the levels of violence the election preparations have not been affected. The success of the parliamentary elections on Sunday are seen by many as a key stepping stone for the eventual withdrawal of US military operations in Iraq by 2011.