Bombings across Baghdad kill at least 12 as early voters go to polls

Friday, March 5, 2010; A08

BAGHDAD -- A roadside bomb and two suicide bombers targeting polling stations in Baghdad killed at least 12 people Thursday, marring the first day of voting to elect the government that will rule as U.S. troops withdraw from Iraq.

Security forces, detainees and hospital patients were allowed to vote Thursday, ahead of Sunday's parliamentary elections.

The roadside bomb detonated in Hurriyah, a district in northeastern Baghdad, killing five people and wounding 22. The suicide bombings, which targeted polling stations in central and western Baghdad, killed seven people and wounded several.

"The terrorists are targeting our polling stations today to scare the civilians," said Sgt. Waleed Tariq, who was among those voting at the station hit in western Baghdad. "They let them think: If they're able to kill security forces on their election day, what will happen to us on Sunday?"

Thursday's attacks came a day after suicide bombings killed more than 33 people in Diyala province, northeast of Baghdad.

-- Qais Mizher and Leila Fadel

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