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Iraq attacks kill 20 as security forces vote ahead of Wednesday's polls

Published on Apr 28, 2014 6:49 PM
 
Iraqi soldiers inspect the site of a suicide bombing outside a polling station in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk on April 28, 2014 as members of the Iraqi security forces cast thier votes in the country's first election the departure of US troops in late 2011. Deadly attacks on Monday, April 28, 2014, including a spate of suicide bombings, killed 20 soldiers and policemen as they cast their ballots ahead of Iraq's first election since US troops withdrew. -- PHOTO: AFP

BAGHDAD (AFP) - Deadly attacks on Monday, including a spate of suicide bombings, killed 20 soldiers and policemen as they cast their ballots ahead of Iraq's first election since US troops withdrew.

The bombings in Baghdad, as well as north and west Iraq raise serious concerns about the ability of the country's security forces to protect voters during Wednesday's general election, when more than 20 million Iraqis are eligible to vote. They come amid a protracted surge in violence and fears that the country is edging towards all-out conflict.

Attackers wearing suicide belts hit polling centres in Baghdad and cities north of the capital, while roadside bombs struck military convoys and targeted journalists covering the polling.

At a voting centre in western Baghdad where six security members were killed, ambulances rushed to and fro, collecting the wounded, as soldiers cordoned off the street and ushered passersby away, an AFP journalist said.

 
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