Suicide blasts kill 33 ahead of Iraq polls

Three powerful coordinated suicide attacks in Baquba killed at least 33 people and wounded 55 just days before nationwide parliamentary polls.

Baquba (Iraq): Three powerful co-ordinated
suicide attacks in the central Iraq city of Baquba killed at
least 33 people and wounded 55 today, just days before
nationwide parliamentary elections.

The blasts, the deadliest to hit the country in nearly a
month, spurred police to clamp an immediate curfew on the
city, 60 kilometres (40 miles) north of Baghdad and one of
Iraq`s biggest.

The attacks came despite heightened security across the
country ahead of Sunday`s vote and after the leader of
Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, threatened to
disrupt the election by "military means."

Two near-simultaneous suicide vehicle bombs ripped
through the provincial housing department`s offices and a
nearby traffic intersection at around 9:30 am (0630 GMT),
while a man later blew himself up at Baquba`s main hospital
where victims were being treated.

"The three bombings killed 33 people," a security
official from Baquba operations command said, speaking on
condition of anonymity.

"The (third) suicide bomber tried to blow himself up
against the police chief when he came to see the wounded in
the hospital."