BEIRUT

Middle East

Suicide bomber kills 10 in central Iraq

  • Iraqi security forces guard the main gate of a Shiite private college following a deadly suicide attack, in Baghdad’s eastern neighborhood of Ur, Iraq, Sunday, April 20, 2014. A series of attacks, including a coordinated assault on a private Shiite college in Baghdad, killed over a dozen people and wounded scores of others in Iraq on Sunday, officials said. Less than two weeks ahead of parliamentary elections, Iraq is struggling to keep a lid on a surge in sectarian violence. (AP Photo/Khalid Mo

KUT, Iraq: A suicide bomber detonated a vehicle rigged with explosives at a police checkpoint in central Iraq on Monday, killing 10 people, an officer and a medical source said.

The blast, which hit the Suweirah area, south of Baghdad, also wounded 35 people.

The attack came a day after violence in Iraq, including a suicide bombing at a university in Baghdad, killed at least 16 people.

The violence comes less than 10 days before the April 30 parliamentary election and will be a major test for security forces.

It will be the first parliamentary election since American troops quit Iraq at the end of 2011.

While they were able to keep violence to a minimum during provincial polls last year, security forces have failed to halt a surge of unrest this year.

The heightened violence has been driven principally by widespread anger among the Sunni Arab minority, who say they are mistreated by the Shiite-led government and security forces.

It has also been fuelled by the bloody civil war in neighbouring Syria, which has bolstered militant groups.

Violence has killed at least 490 people in Iraq this month and upwards of 2,700 this year, according to AFP figures based on security and medical sources.

 
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