BEIRUT

Middle East

Mortars, sound grenades target Iraq voters

A voter shows her ink-stained finger at a polling station during a parliamentary election in Baghdad April 30, 2014. Iraqis headed to the polls on Wednesday in their first national election since U.S. forces withdrew from Iraq in 2011, with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki seeking a third term amid rising violence. REUTERS/Wissm al-Okili (IRAQ - Tags: ELECTIONS POLITICS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)

BAGHDAD: Two mortars landed near voting centres west of Baghdad Wednesday morning as Iraqis went to the polls in the country's first general election since US troops withdrew, an official said.

The mortars did not cause any casualties, according to Shaker al-Essawi, a senior municipal official in the area just west of Baghdad where the attacks took place.

Elsewhere in Iraq, militants set off nearly a dozen sound grenades in the ethnically mixed town of Tuz Khurmatu, north of Baghdad, while a senior police chief in Kirkuk province survived an assassination attempt carried out with twin bombings targeting his convoy, officials said.

The violence comes after two days of bloodshed that left nearly 90 people dead nationwide, ahead of the nationwide vote in which Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki is seeking a third term in office.

Unrest has surged in recent months, with more than 750 people killed already this month, according to an AFP tally.

 

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